Spotlight on Volunteers: John Wicklund

Spotlight on Volunteers: John Wicklundohn Wicklund is well known for his role as Santa Claus, at the museum. Provided photo.

John Wicklund, of Owego, is a very humble man who gives 80 percent of his time to our county since his retirement following 20 years of service to IBM. His energy is boundless. We spoke with him recently and he shared some of the things he is contributing to Owego.

He is quite active in his church, the Methodist Church. Here are some of the things he does; he is currently rehearsing for a play to be performed in November. It is a mystery play based in the south. He portrays the deputy, “Bubba”.  Wicklund enjoys helping others to laugh and have fun. As Bubba, he has a walk that is to die with laughter at. He is also part of the yearly portraying of an apostle in the church skit.

Wicklund also is actively part of the monthly breakfast hosted by his church. He serves the food from the buffet with great pleasure. He believes that this is his God telling him how he can repay his debts of his “wrongs”.

Wicklund serves as Vice President of the board at the Open Door Mission located in Owego. He helps with the gathering of items for the community. He truly enjoys helping those less fortunate than he, paying back again.  

Wicklund is the publicity chair for the Relay for Life. Each year he puts up the banner for the event and recruits others in participating in this event that raises hope and dollars for the American Cancer Society. A close friend of his died from breast cancer, so he is doing what she would be pleased with and proud of him for doing.

With the Historical Society each year he can be found as the jolly old man in the Santa suit. He also puts up the banner for “O Tannenbaum”. He can be found as a ghost during the cemetery walk at the Evergreen Cemetery each year. His volunteer work gives him joy and he feels he can pass along some history to others as well.

He also gives many rides to doctor appointments, shopping, and several other activities some people are unable to do for themselves. 

Wicklund’s generosity goes beyond our county. He helps with the Meals on Wheels program in Binghamton. He has had a cute little helper this past year; his granddaughter has helped him deliver many meals.

He also goes on a mission yearly to assist those in foreign countries. 

His comment, when asked what he receives in return, was “no money.”  He was giving back what he felt he owed the community. 

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