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Brian Marchetti and Wendy Leonard bring the real Santa Claus to life for kids and Believable Foundation at Costas Inn on “A Cup Of Soup Or Bowl Week” community and hunger marathon in Dundalk.


santa, santa claus, years, pillowcases, wendy, brian, costas, foundation, maryland, reindeer, thought, started, work, claus, christmas, picture, donating, day, believable, great


Wendy Leonard, Nestor J. Aparicio, Brian Marchetti

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:02

Welcome home we are wn St. am 1570, Towson. Baltimore is our final segment but not of the week just that the day. We’re Costas in wrapping things up here. Right when I said I’d be done at five o’clock Mr. Costas showing up five and five sing off. Sorry, show’s over. We got plenty of time. He says, All right, we’ll bring them back. If you have not seen the special on vise on Costas and Dundalk with Steve show, please go check it out. You can find it YouTube just put vise and cost us in Dundalk. And it’ll pop right up. You can watch that. We’ve had so many amazing guests here today. I say all of them are my favorite guests. But it’s Dundalk. And I know some of the people and some of the people I don’t know some of the organizations I know but I don’t know that people. This is an organization I don’t know but I know some people Brian Marchetti and Wendy Leonard are from believable foundation. Make sure you get that right now believe believable foundation. Primer cat. He’s been playing the role of Santa Claus here. How many years you’ve been doing this? Brian 15 Was that hard to seek? You look like Santa Claus. I mean, I know you’ve heard that before. Right? It’s


Brian Marchetti  01:05

really complicated, too. You know, being born with blue eyes and being fat was was a big plus a lot of work for

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:10

me to do. Well. I mean, you’re jolly. I wouldn’t call it fat. I would call it a big boned.

Brian Marchetti  01:15

Yeah, I’ll go with that as well.

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:17


Wendy Leonard is the founding board member of believeable foundation. I’ll find out about that. How are you?


I’m great. Thanks for having us.

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:24

I’m glad I was a little more he was worried about you making the timing. And then I went up being late as predicted. And everything worked out. Great to get you here. So give me the Santa Claus thing with you. Because I’ve never I have I had you on the show and ask you this. If I don’t think I have no real world. You’ve been our Santa Claus. You’ve come out for various canned food drives and coat drives that we’ve done in the past. I have pictures of you and me. As Santa coat drives up in Buffalo Wild Wings and different things that we’ve done over the years. You always say to me if you need a Santa, I’m there for you. And I love you for that. I haven’t called you buggy much lately since my wife had the plague and my wife got sick. But it’s been a number of years. But I I know you I wouldn’t be very good Santa. You know what I mean? I’m not jolly enough. But when you look like Santa, and you got the vibe, it’s a gift to you every year right? To be able to play that role.

Brian Marchetti  02:13

I actually didn’t think I’d be able to do it. I lost a bet to Wendy that’s how it was. That’s


Nestor J. Aparicio  02:18

exactly right. You gotta give me the story. Forget you, you can destroy Wendy.

Wendy Leonard  02:21

So we’re Ravens fans. And so we’re at the football game. It’s early November. So you know, Maryland has that tradition with No Shave November. And so he’s growing his beard a little bit just because I think it’s an excuse not to shave. We had a running joke with the lead guitar player and singer of Great Train Robbery, a local Dundalk band. And we he would tease him and say I’m gonna steal all your groupies because I’m gonna have a better beard than you. And we’re sitting at the football game. And I looked at him and I said, I think you could be Santa, which he replied, My

Brian Marchetti  02:57

immediate response. But just because I’m fat, and I have blue eyes doesn’t make me Santa. And then she went on to describe why she thought my personality and my disposition would work in their role. And what I eventually had said to her to get her to stop talking was if you can find a suit that fits me, I’ll do

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:13


it. The gentle giant.


So two weeks later, he was Santa with a suit that was too big for him. And if you can see Brian, he’s a very he’s not a typical 2x or 3x. Kind of gentleman. No,

Brian Marchetti  03:23

she, she did really well. And we went out and we started doing it and didn’t have any idea what we were doing and became self taught. And after a couple of years, the business started to grow. And people started offering me money. And we were donating everything we were making. So we just continued with it and eventually established the believable foundation because it grew exponentially.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:44

I swear to God, I plugged you and you said you’re listening today I plugged you a couple times and throw your name out and your sister special to me and you know that and we’ll talk about that. And then I’ve already cried three and a half times a day. Don’t make it for my mother and I might cry twice might be six for two days over but I said it’s time to play Santa Claus every year. I don’t really know what he does. I didn’t know about the foundation. I had you on because you play Santa. And I didn’t know enough about believable so we’re going to learn about this believable foundation wearing a hat. Wait. So she challenges you to be Santa. She buys an outfit for you to be Santa. Your Santa 15 years ago. At what point does it become like we could do good with this beyond just me having fun with it. It was probably a gift to you just put the suit on and have kids make a big deal of it. I always think about that people in football games dressed as Santa. It’s fun walking around as Santa I would always say when I hung out with Brian Billick as my partner we become places I would always say it’d be like walking in with Santa Claus. Like we walk in and everybody would want to come up they’d be smiling. They’d be happy. Put the Santa suit on. No, nobody hates Santa. Well, there


Brian Marchetti  04:48

are a few out there who do I won’t isolate anybody’s name Marlon Humphrey, but there are some that are afraid of Santa and won’t take a picture with him Marlon Humphrey. So,

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:57

Humphrey is is it It

Brian Marchetti  05:01

is that he’s the only guy on the chosen shot wouldn’t take a picture with me. I was sort of shocked by that. So that’s why I’m calling him out. But in any case, I

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:09


would call him out on just being a bad human. I mean, when I’ve talked to him, he’s been, he’s been a he’s been. He’s one of the reasons that me not being around the Ravens isn’t like all that bad for me, because I like being treated like that. Just so you know, I walked up to him, and I said, I’m mean to you. How do you think he treated me to treat Santa Claus that way? How do you think I got treated? I understand. So we worship these guys. And the ones who deserve worship, I’ve always been willing to. There’s nobody that’s done more to promote the Baltimore Ravens than me, you know that? Sure. Absolutely. Your sister know, everybody, everybody in the audience should know that. And then the treatment you got is the treatment that I got. And I don’t like that. I’m 55 years old. Santa don’t like that either. Clearly, sanity like, Santa is bitching on radio back. Good. Go ahead. So anyway, guys, churches should be calling you act that way. I’ve never acted that way. When anybody so yeah, go ahead. But keep going. So in any case, I’ll pile on Marlon. I’m happy to get well soon.

Brian Marchetti  06:09

So now anyway, you know, the business just grew. I mean, we were we were going to more and more events getting more and more requests, people started offering to pay us and we were taking the money and we were using it to to filter into the shelter over by Franklin Square hospital, the Eastside


family resources, Eastern Family Resource Center. And,

Brian Marchetti  06:26

and then also, some of the money was going to the race foundation up in Harford County and



race against abuse of children everywhere.

Brian Marchetti  06:34

And then Wendy had a program.

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:36

I’m glad she’s here you are right. This wouldn’t be going anywhere without her. And

Brian Marchetti  06:40


you know what, my business wouldn’t be anywhere without her. And it’s not I shouldn’t say my business. It’s ours. It’s absolutely ours. And it wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for windy and the motivation and drive that she gives me to go do the things that I do.

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:51

Are you sitting all year? If you look like this, you have to be well, I’m just asking like, I mean, I would think that like, I think a Santa. For me, Santa is something that a football game, or it’s at the mall with candy sticks, right? Like or you know, at a department store, or that would be somebody who to hire you for a couple hours, come out play or come over to my kids house. It’s Christmas, and we’ll pay you to come over and be Santa for an hour or whatever. But I thought that was a seasonal Chuck. I thought Santa starts right around Thanksgiving and ends right around. Well, the minute you hear Mariah Carey, yeah, well, that’s usually October.


But actually, the summertime is fun. So there’s a big rise and people wanting to do stuff together. So Christmas in July, right. But again, Baltimore is a great place with lots of you know, you know, beer, fresh beers from breweries and barbecues, and that kind of stuff. And so we do a lot of beer judging contests and all that in the summertime. It’s a lot of fun. I mean, for Brian it’s a little different because he looks like Santa Claus. You he can’t walk in and around without getting a couple looks. You know, I started out as a as an elf because I refused to dye my hair because actually, Mrs. Claus, so I am now Mrs. Claus. I’ve been Mrs. Claus for about eight or 10 years. But I as we were dying,

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:10

so good, dude. That’s good.



I actually have a science degree in law. He lets me be a cosmetologist and dye his hair the fact that he trusts me with that is kind of amazing. But I want to

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:21

hold this up for too long. I don’t touch many people’s phones when I’m gonna raise my hands but but but this is what they do. Man this is this is the coolest thing. So make sure everybody can see that. There you go. I dim the light for everybody. So Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus awesome gig you guys got going in.


I think in general part is is believable as the name came from we believe that working together we are able to make a difference. And you know, the fabric of what we’ve been doing has been to give back and so whether we’re you know, we’re donating blood donating platelets donating food and supplies and book supply, you know, bookbags to get children at the homeless shelter ready to go. My Big Love is pillowcases. And so I’m a mother of three kids, two of those were special needs and two of them have passed. So sorry, so I could make you cry. I could potentially make you cry,

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:12


ready. Milliyet cry now.


But when my son was in the hospital, he was at Johns Hopkins in the pediatric unit. He was 19 at the time and he was stayed in the hospital for five days and one of the nurses brought him a homemade pillowcase. And so when we got out there all my friends said, What can we do? What do you need? Do you need a meal do you need to make at grass? What do you need? And I said, we’re gonna play it forward. So he’s, you know, he was 19. He’s been in for five days. Let’s do that many pillowcases. And so my friends banged it out of the park. When’s that when Mason passed away, we donated 2000 pillowcases to Johns Hopkins pediatric hospital. And since then, it’s been just under four years and we’ve donated over 10,000 pillowcases and what that talks a lot of who it is. And so we have folks that go out and tie dye I have people that so I have people that you know, by their favorite theme, so whether they like Snoopy or Pokeyman, or whether they like dragons and butterflies and all kinds of stuff. So they’re all fun themes. So if you’ve ever been in a pediatric ward, they do their best to make it bright and cheery, but it’s not. It’s a hospital environment. And we’ve spent

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:25

155 Nights at the Kimmel center, and the hardest thing in the world was going downstairs, and even when she was doing well enough to take her port and a pole and go down there and to see children down there, he was just, it was, you know, we know and


yep. So and again for my son, which was special needs. It was a great way when a doctor or a nurse somebody in the medical staff came in, they could say hey buddy, look at that cool pillowcase because I wouldn’t let him take his blood pressure, his temperature do any procedure on him unless they made friends with him because to me, even though he was special needs, it was he was the patient. And so the pillowcase was were an icebreaker and so now we’re doing a lot of area Children’s Hospital. So we do you know, I’m loyal to to Johns Hopkins, but we also do Kennedy Krieger Sinai Mount Washington University of Maryland shock trauma. I work for the army. So we do Walter Reed. Most people think of Walter Reed is wounded warriors, but they also have a 13 bed pediatric unit. Because of our Santa activities, we do a lot of stuff a sleigh activities and so we all say take toys to hospitals or other places, but I


Nestor J. Aparicio  11:33

think he made it make a bitter, better Mrs. Claus than an elf. I thought Absolutely. I could be an elf

Brian Marchetti  11:38

for years to get her to make the switch because she said she wasn’t going to bleach your hair. I bleached my hair. My hair is actually Brown, and we bleach everything to be white. So I tried to talk her into bleaching her hair, and she wouldn’t be

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:50

disappointed in here. I

Brian Marchetti  11:52


know. I’m sorry. You

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:53

know what? Cancel on the show? Yeah, no longer real Santa, if you got? Yes, I know that. The problem

Brian Marchetti  11:58

is you and I are very close in age. I’m 57. When he’s 56, or 55. I mean, just not quite there yet. Maybe another 10 years from now it’ll turn but so far.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:08

That’s what mine is me off every one. What



I find is, is that I work harder than Santa. I don’t care what anybody says I work harder.


Well, good.

Brian Marchetti  12:18

It is true in the industry. We’re actually teaching classes at Santa schools around the country now and gotten to know a lot of people and in general, it Santa is who everybody comes to see. And it’s Mrs. Claus who works the hardest. She’s the one that’s hopping up and getting people ready for pictures or grabbing somebody’s cell phone so the whole family can get a picture or keeping the line in order whatever it takes. She’s the one who’s emotion doing all the work. And I’m the one just sitting there and looking pretty which I do fan. Your

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:44


hell of a Santa Brian Marchetti is here. Wendy Leonard, a believable foundation they do. They do Santa. And as you can tell, if you’re watching on the video, they do say it is was there a model for this, that you can’t be the only two people doing Santa Claus for charity in place. Wendy

Brian Marchetti  13:01

has been doing fundraising her whole life. And when we started to work together, and we started this little project, we didn’t know what it was going to turn into. And once we were able to create the believable foundation, then all of the things that we did collectively fell under one umbrella. And I thought that that was going to be something that would grow slowly. But instead it has grown quickly. We think the corporation itself started in 2020. But our approval for the nonprofit status was in 2022. And our numbers doubled immediately, as soon as we got the nonprofit status and we were able to do more. A good example is we took a trip to Williamsburg that was for a Santa school and driving down there and back we bought 1100 pillowcases. So I mean, we’re we have the funds to do some of the things that we’ve always wanted to do or we’ve been doing but on a smaller scale. So now because of this, we’re able to grow and to give back more. And that’s really what it’s about. It’s always been about giving back ever since day one. And you know, it was small scale before and now it’s becoming large scale.


But there’s lots of Sansa schools out there. We didn’t know that when we started. Actually, it was kind of funny. The very first year he did it, I had a nephew who was about 18 months old. And so I brought him over for a house visit and I think it was the wonder in Matthews eyes looking at Santa that got Brian hooked. Brian doesn’t have children of his own and I think just that pure belief and joy really suckered him in later glad

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:28

you guys came by. I love hearing his stories is awesome. But the funnier



part was is there was Mars on wise Avenue and I convinced him to go in full Santa gear to go buy milk and cookies at the grocery store. And I thought it was hysterical

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:41

so I’m gonna hook you up Why is Mar and they took over Mars. You belong in a place like that. I Brian, I gotta tell you before we go and I have the food bank I swear I’m a wreck. I’m wrapping up man. We’re gonna get this food to people get a picture. I’ve only been here in eight hours so I’ll be so for you with your sister and And you clearly had good parents. I mean, I know your sister. Your sister came to my mother’s house. She was the person who cared for my mother at the end of her life. Don’t get me started. But how’s your sister she actually doing?

Brian Marchetti  15:14

My sister’s doing? Well, actually special lady mill. Yeah, I have two sisters here in Baltimore. And both of them are doing good one recently lost her husband, but she’s getting by with that. And Millie, who you know, is doing really well.

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:26


So go to ravens games, I see your pop up.

Brian Marchetti  15:30

For every game. It’s funny, you said parents I was actually adopted. So we were raised by different parents. But there are unique similarities between her and I. I’m a firm believer in things being environmental and not genetic. But I’m sure if you ask her husband, or if you ask Wendy there’s definitely some genetic similarities between her and I. Because she tends to be a pain in the butt. And so who am I? Right?

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:49

Well, I mean, she was just a beautiful person take care of my mother. It’s especially special thing she did with my mother. What I

Brian Marchetti  15:55

will tell you is I believe she’s a fantastic nurse and I’d let her work on me or help me anytime at all. There’s, I trust her. That’s the absolute blister. Yeah,


Nestor J. Aparicio  16:04

I hope I have that kind of care when I’m 98. Right. Me too, if you’re making your mother was my mother was 98. My mom really about my mother, I will ask Millie about my mother. My mother loved my mother. My mom


really took care of my father as well my father and so she helped my heart

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:19

man special people like you guys believable. How can people help you? What can they do other than hire you Santa Claus? Well,

Brian Marchetti  16:25


they can actually give us a call. And if you don’t mind, I’ll give my number please, for 109058550 Call us up ask us what kind of projects we’re working on. And we’ll tailor what we can use and what we what we what we need at that time. We’re always doing something different. I mean, we currently have a big project that we’re working on now that’s scheduled for the weekend of March 8 through the 10th. At Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, we’ve got about 100 people coming in. And it’s a huge stuff a slate program that’s going to be there. And it’s a standoff a sleigh, I love it. It’s alright, the gathering is what it is. But we do things both locally. And otherwise. We’re currently right now accepting donations for the Kennedy Krieger festival of trees, which Wendy is a big part of,


we did that. We did that for the first time in in November. And so the whole fun thing was is you got to pick your theme. And so we were so afraid that somebody wouldn’t buy our tree because that’s what it is. It’s a fundraiser and your money goes to support research at Kennedy Krieger. And so in the end, we, we we did a wreath, a four foot tree and a seven foot tree and they sold very quickly. And so this year, so moving in already, we’re already planning to do moose as our theme. So we’re going to do marry Chris moose. And so we’re kind of excited and collecting ornaments and making ornaments. And, you know, we would love if anybody you know is going out to Alaska or Maine and they’ve seen some fun moose ornaments, I would love to have some of them and, and that kind of stuff, but also to come out and look at our trees in November. So it’d be a lot of fun to do that. So just a nice way to give back again, to me, it’s about being community based, right. So if everybody just does a little bit whether it’s dog food, you know, you know donate blood, whether you donate money or that kind of stuff, everybody working together, we’re able to make a difference and that’s why I think it’s believable, believable,

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:09

believable foundation. You can learn more on Facebook a believable foundation or believable Wendy Leonard, Brian Marchetti, our guest here we’re Costas that again. Everything in to leave anything out. Are we good?

Brian Marchetti  18:23

I think we’re good. Thank you.


Nestor J. Aparicio  18:24

Thanks. Sorry the Ravens didn’t turn out so good for you and Millie and you know, hey, Oreos are under new ownership under new management. Absolutely. We’re


already buying our tickets for an April game. So I’m calling

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:35

them the new and improved Oreos is what that’s going to be my it’s



been a great year to be a sports fan and Maryland. It has been

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:41

it has been it’s been a great week to be thrown out of the ravens and to not be in Las Vegas and to be here with you. It really has been so thank you very much. Love, love all the connections we’ve made that people come out and I threw it out to the cosmos like in early December so I’m looking to do 100 charities but you were one of the people that was only going on my leg I knew you did something and I didn’t even know really what it was I knew you did a Santa turn so all day long I would say I got this guy does a Santa thing I don’t really know about it but like now I know about it. So I’m glad you’re taking care of the kids and I’m sorry for your loss and but we’re all in it together all right you come back again next year. Jen make you wear your suit next year is gender and go She’s doing good. She needs a picture with Santa. I’m ready. I know you only want

Brian Marchetti  19:25

to have with her was done at tailgate and I was wearing the purple Santa suit. And I have a picture of a

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:30

red yeah all right. Absolutely gotta get an orange one now soon. Me that a game one of the World Series in October playing Mariah Carey so


Brian Marchetti  19:42

they want to invite me I’ll bring what’s your favorite Christmas song? Wow. You know, I listened to so many songs at Christmas time to be honest with you. I become immune to it. But I wish I actually when I’m when I’m at events, I ask people who their favorite reindeer is and inevitably it’s Rudolph, so I sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, it’s just about every event that I go to. So I guess Rudolph is going to be the answer to your question that’s that’s probably the one that I I know all the words to to be honest with you there are some that I don’t know all the words Dasher

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:13

and dancer and Donner and Blitzen Comet and Cupid and I’m missing them I don’t know I’m out.

Brian Marchetti  20:21

It’s Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vikram, sir I forgot brand stupid Dataran Blitzen. And most What do you recall? Rudolph and then there’s also all of all of the other reindeer

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:34


later that came later, Brian Marchetti Sears. He knows all the reindeer. We’re gonna let him get off North Point Road here and get back to the North Pole. With the elves


had some toys to make got some. Yeah, absolutely. Still plenty switches and coal.

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:48

Don’t Don’t do that to me. You

Brian Marchetti  20:49

know, coals too expensive. Now we’re using recycled trash now actually. Okay, that’s nice. A coal went up. So now you get recycled trash when you’re on the naughty list.


Nestor J. Aparicio  20:57

My cat has taken to playing with leftover paper, the stuffing paper. So my wife brought it home at Christmas. Christmas wasn’t yesterday. I mean, I know. It’s all it’s everyday for you. But Christmas is seven weeks ago. And she left the paper in the form. He forgot that how much the cat loved it at the old condo. And now it’s a full time. It’s like, when you go into Chick fil A and have the balls. My cat has leftover Christmas paper everywhere. And she dives into it. And she like So Christmas is every day at my place. I still haven’t cleaned the Christmas paper up and it gets what I’m saying it sounds great. Sounds great. Speaking

Brian Marchetti  21:32

of cats, by the way, you had talked to somebody from sugar soft site earlier, Tanya. Yes. And Don Cannella is a board of directors member there and she’s actually my neighbor. So she takes care of all the cats that are in my community and I actually got a kitten from her a few years ago. Which kittens name? That one is. Which Oh, it’s Rico. Rico. Okay,

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:51

I thought you might have named it after reindeer. I wasn’t sure you know

Brian Marchetti  21:54


what it was black and white looked like a penguin so we had to find a penguin name. And I thought about the Penguins of Madagascar. So it was Rico Sarge Rico and Kowalski were the three names of the penguins there. And Sarge and Kowalski didn’t work so it became rica

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:10

well that couldn’t name the reindeer a minute ago. Don’t get me started on the Ninja Turtles because I’ll forget Raphael or Leonardo or something. When he later Brian Marchetti believable foundation, I’m wrapping things up because the sun is setting in my eyes here out of the west side, it cost us we’re gonna get beautiful back. That would be Bear Creek sunset in that direction of the Bear Creek. Big thanks to everybody here cost this. We’ve had another eight hour show where Mr. Costas has blown me off and won’t do the show today. So I keep I give him a hard time because he did this vise thing if you haven’t seen the vise piece on cost as he tells his story of coming here from Greece with $5 in his pocket and creating this place, everybody go watch that. That’s homework. I’m stepping out. I’m breaking. I’m done. I’m back after it Coco’s on Wednesday. Stay fair on Thursday. Friday, we’re going to be up at Pappas, I hope we get this much food everywhere as we move around the city. Big thanks to the Maryland lottery, hopefully. Oprah moment. You get a ticket. Thank you. I feel like Santa I feel like Oprah


actually. And you get a lot of chicken Thank you.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:11

He’s gonna get a lottery ticket from the Maryland Food Bank. I’m not sure we are wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore, signing off, but back live again at 9am with the suns in my eye. Oh, Green Giant

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