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Fairview community remembers ‘The Big Guy’ Santa

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FAIRVIEW, Tx. - Santa always looks a little different in decorations and movies, but in the eyes of many North Texans, the Fairview Town Center Santa affectionately known as 'The Big Guy' was thee big guy to visit come Christmas time.

A tradition to get your photo taken with him and, years later, you'd do the same thing your your kids.

Sadly, The Big Guy's sleigh came to an abrupt halt this year after he passed away.

"It was devastating," says Jamie Roubinek. "He was a sweet, sweet man; he was your friend. He wasn't just a 'mall Santa'; he was everyone's friend."

And for Jamie, her tradition with The Big Guy started a long time ago.

'We were looking at the newspaper classifieds and stumbled upon this add that talked about being an elf for Santa in the mall..."

In the off season of junior college volleyball, Jamie and her friends got jobs as The Big Guy's first elves when he started at the Stonebriar Mall.

"They advertised him as the Santa who was on a Coke commercial so, of course, we were starstruck; but then to see that he is so down to earth and was so warm and welcoming."

Jamie says when she found out her dream of getting into A&M came true - The Big Guy did a big thing.

"In his entire full Santa coat and everything, went down the mall and had a cookie cake made for me and presented it to me in the break room. It was just about this big and said 'Gig 'Em' on it. So just the thoughtfulness that he put into that!"

Now 17 years later, Jamie has continued the tradition, in a different way.

"So when the season was over with the girls and I always went back to visit," says Jamie, "Then we started to have kids, so I started to go back every year for my kids to see him and meet him."

Jamie isn't alone.

Hundreds of North Texans have a similar story, which is why hundreds of his fans are donating to a GoFundMe page created for his family - showing The Big Guy`s magic of giving - is alive and well.

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