Okay, maybe not exactly Hollywood, but Flint’s second-hand Santa, sold-off in 2013 by the city’s Emergency Manager, is going to Boston to be in a 20th Century Fox production starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro in a movie titled “Joy“, about “the life of a struggling Long Island single mom who became one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs.”
Santa’s cinderella story began back in May of 2013 — in what was the ultimate act of grinchitude, when Flint’s Emergency Manager, Ed Kurtz, sold the city’s Santa and reindeer display for $1330, as part of 400 items being put up for auction. The bidding on old St. Nick started at $5, but a group of concerned citizens pooled their resources and scraped together the winning bid in an effort to preserve the tradition of displaying Santa and his sleigh.
Flint resident Melodee Mabbitt organized the effort and has been Santa’s caretaker ever since. St. Nick will earn $500 for his role in the movie. Mabbitt intends to contribute his paycheck to the Flint Democracy Defense League, an organization dedicated to bringing full democracy back to the city. Flint has been under emergency management for over 4 years, and is joined by sixteen other Michigan municipalities and school districts impacted by the law.