Spirit of Liberty Foundation leaders and TV journalist visit Paradise Camp Fire location

Founder Richard Rovsek and Santa prepare to board the Spirit of Liberty flight.
(McKenzie Images)
Santa brings Christmas joy to a young child. Courtesy of Spirit of Liberty Foundation

Every year the local Spirit of Liberty Foundation holds its “Annual Operation Christmas Miracle – The Believe in Santa Tour” to visit U.S. troops on bases and around the world to bring them the magic and spirit of Christmas.

This year the Spirit of Liberty Foundation made a very special additional visit to the victims and first responders of the Paradise Camp Fire with its America’s Santa. Those who took the trip to Paradise in Butte County, Calif., included Spirit of Liberty Foundation founder Richard Rovsek, Gary Bobileff, Rancho Santa Fe resident and foundation trustee, and Cassie Carlisle from ABC 10 News San Diego.

For this visit America’s Santa didn’t wear his military camouflage suit, instead he was in his traditional red with white fur and he put big smiles on everyone’s faces, from school children to the seniors and, of course, the first responders.

The Spirit of Liberty team carried gifts from the San Diego Zoo, NFL, MLB, Macy’s, The Children’s Place and even the White House Christmas ornaments which everyone loved.

It was one of the team’s most emotional visits as many of those they met lost everything in the fires. Many of the first responders also suffered great loss.

“It was eerie as we drove for miles in what looked like a giant cemetery and the chimneys were the only thing standing as giant tombstones,” said Rovsek.

For more on the Spirit of Liberty Foundation, visit

Santa donations
Santa with donations for the Paradise Camp Fire victims. Courtesy of Spirit of Liberty Foundation
Group shot
Spirit of Liberty Foundation representatives Mike Rainey, Gary Bobileff, founder Richard Rovsek, with Santa. McKenzie Images
First responders
Santa with first responders. Courtesy of Spirit of Liberty Foundation
Offocial ornament
Among Santa’s gifts was the White House official Christmas ornament to be given as presents during the day. McKenzie Images
Santa children
Santa bringing joy to Paradise children. Courtesy of Spirit of Liberty Foundation