“North Carolina’s Friend of Santa”
Garner, North Carolina
1948 – Current
International Santa Claus Hall of Fame – December 2023
Jim Youker first became a Santa as a 21-year-old for a Montgomery Ward store in 1969. He enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in 1972. While Jim was on active duty, he continued his Santa work in Kodiak, AK; Cheboygan, MI; Miami, FL; Honolulu, HI and Elizabeth City, NC.
When retired, he and his wife Kolleen relocated to Raleigh, NC where he became active in the Triangle Santa Buddies. He was knighted in the inaugural class of the Knights of St. Nicholas and is member of the Santa Claus Oath Foundation. He was the first U. S. Coast Guard representative on Santa’s Drill Team. He received the Lifetime Achievement Medal from the St. Nicholas Institute in 2016 in recognition of his Christmas Spirit.
He is Co-Founder of the North Carolina Friends of Santa and has been the Official Santa for the Capital City Clauses in Raleigh, N.C. since 2019. The Capital City Clauses raise money every year during their Jingle Ball event at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science in order to provide underprivileged children with toys. In 2022, he became the Official Santa for the Christmas tree lighting aboard the USS Constitution in Boston, MA. Today, Jim Youker continues to be an example to others as to what Santa can do.