SANFORD — Christmas came early for Sue Pepin of Sanford.

Her Santa Claus was Robert Gendreau, owner of Gendreau Roofing and Construction; his workers were the elves.

Her present was a brand new roof, which was made possible by Gendreau and his crew who donated the labor as well as Moyniham Lumber of Plaiston, New Hampshire and Bob Paquin Builders in Maine who provided the materials.

On Saturday, the roofers braved the cold and the rainy and snowy weather and climbed on top of Pepin’s home, located on Whitman Street, to tear off the old roof and put on the new one.

It was quite a sight to behold as the men all dressed for their role, with Gendreau in a Santa suit and 14 of his employees in elf suits.

Gendreau, 26, who has owned his business for six years, said he came up with the idea because “We decided we wanted to donate something nice for someone during Christmas, doing something we love. It’s awesome to be able to give.”

In order to determine who would get a new roof, Gendreau turned to social media. He posted his idea on the Facebook page “Sanford: Maine’s Newest City.”

To enter the contest, people were required to take a picture of their roof and post it on Gendreau’s thread on the Sanford Facebook page.

Of the more than 50 entries, Gendreau chose three finalists and left it up to the approximately 3,000 members of the Facebook page to pick the winner.

It took only a few hours to select Pepin, he said.

“I’m excited,” said Pepin as she and her neighbors stood outside, watching the installation of the new roof. For Christmas, she said, “I don’t need anything else.”

Pepin said she’s owned her house for 14 years. When she bought it, she said, the roof was supposed to be in good condition; it wasn’t.

Gendreau said because of all the leaks, he and his crew had to remove hundreds of gallons of water from the attic and they also found a lot of wood rot.

Pepin said she had put off fixing the roof because of the expense.

If Pepin had to pay for it herself, Gendreau estimated the cost of the new 830 square foot roof would be $7,200.

Pepin said she was very grateful for Gendreau, his crew and all the others who donated and volunteered to give her a new roof.

Pepin isn’t the only recipient of Gendreau’s generosity during the holiday season.

Sanford’s own Santa also donated a full tank of oil at Thanksgiving to Judy McKenney. McKenney was also picked through the Sanford: Maine’s Newest City Facebook page.

Gendreau plans to pick another person to donate oil to for Christmas.

— Staff Writer Dina Mendros can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 324 or [email protected]

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