BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A man who has portrayed none other than Santa Claus himself for the last 50 years will be honored by the Erie County Legislature Thursday. It is his last year playing the role of the jolly old soul.

Jeff Schuler has brought joy to thousands while donning the red coat and cap as one of Santa’s many helpers. Legislator Frank Todaro will be honoring the Depew native, who has been spreading holiday cheer at various locations and events since the early 70s, including welcoming troops home for the holidays at the airport each year.

The event will be taking place at noon on Friday.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.