People streaming in and out of the Improv Asylum on Hanover Street during the club’s 24-hour Globe Santa fund-raiser over the weekend were greeted by two local celebrities: Globe Santa and Salvatore LaMattina, a Boston city councilor whose district includes the North End.
Many stopped for a photo session with Santa, or with Santa and LaMattina, a well-known figure on the streets of Boston and particularly in the North End. But even the constituents who know LaMattina well may not have been aware of the significance of their councilor’s pairing with the jolly, bearded guy in the red suit. When LaMattina was growing up in East Boston, he and his brothers were yearly recipients of Globe Santa gifts. In part because of that connection to his childhood, LaMattina donates each year to the 55-year-old Globe Santa program.
But this was the first year that Globe Santa realized that the councilor’s name had once been on his long list of needy children who receive holiday gifts thanks to donations from the public.
On Saturday afternoon, LaMattina appeared at the Improv Asylum, which first offered its space, its sidewalk, and the talents of its hard-working comics when they came up with the concept for the “No Rest for the Wicked Funny’’ fund-raiser seven years ago. Since then, the club’s owners, crew, and cast have turned the event into a beloved tradition, and increased the donation they make to Globe Santa by more than tenfold.
“I wanted to be here so I could help them raise some money, and also because I wanted to say thank you,’’ LaMattina said. “As a little kid, I always looked forward to receiving toys from Globe Santa, and we always did, every year. Without Globe Santa, we probably wouldn’t have had any presents under our tree.’’
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week