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Santas find Christmas spirit all year long

October 02, 2013 - Santa noticed the nice meter in Clarkston is unusually high, so he had to come and see why the area is so special.

A special trip was made to The Clarkston News to ask if we had any idea why the nice meter is so full.

Santa, and his magical twin Santa, share the many responsibilities of the Christmas season like visiting kids around the world, keeping track of the elves and making sure there are enough gifts for all the world's children.

The Santas work together to visit people around the world hoping to catch a glimpse of the legend, and present Christmas wish lists.

Answering Santa's question--we showed off some newspaper stories from the past six months about all the people and organizations doing good deeds.

Here are a few stories we told Santa…

CNews talked about local businessman Kevin Yousif, John Dean and Michael Holycross who organized a golf outing at Oakhurst Country Club to help fund the Marine Corps birthday ball at the Marine Recruitment in Detroit after funding for the event was cut.

Santa's eyes glimmered in beauty as we showed him all of the gardens abloom in Depot Park that were adopted and beautified under a program created by city of the village of Clarkston.

Santa giggled, impressed that Claire Kirchner, and her group of friends, worked so hard to paint and sell decorative stones in August to raise money for the Lighthouse of Oakland County. The girls raised $2,130 in donations to help.

Santa chuckled with joy at the Clarkston Optimists $25,000 donation to Deer Lake Beach, and also sponsoring a free community Beach Bash with free food and games.

Santa, gave a loud belly laugh as we told him about Crystal Cockerham, who is collecting supplies for troops in Afghanistan, "Until they come home," she said. We let Santa know there is a drop box for donations for the troops located at the Clarkston News at 5 S. Main Street in downtown.

Tears filled Santa's eyes when he heard about the 5th Annual Football for a Cure, and all the gridiron heroes of the Clarkston High School football team who raised money for McLaren Cancer Institute and McLaren Breast Cancer Institute. Funds raised also supported transportation, nutritional products and Meijer gift cards for people afflicted with Cancer.

Santa's cheeks grew red with pride as we explained how Independence Township resident Bob Light prepared in July for a 300 mile cycling event for the 26th Annual Wish Bicycle Tour for Make-A-Wish Michigan. Light, rode in honor of Jenna Kast, an 11-year-old girl who lost her battle with cancer. Light's goal was to raise $2,500.

Santa shook his head in awe as he heard of the unknown good Samaritan who police credit with saving the life of Old Village Café owner Pete Berishaj. The good Samaritan told Pete to get out of the way when he saw an oncoming vehicle that did not appear to be slowing down. Although Pete was seriously injured-he survived the accident and is recovering.

Santa confessed he was impressed with the Angels Place Race for raising $23,000 to benefit 20 homes in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties. Each home cares for 4-6 people, and focuses on people-centered services and professional support for people with disabilities.

Santa had already heard about kids in the Think Positive Leadership Program who planned a fundraiser event to raise at least $600 to donate for handicap picnic tables or a drinking fountain for Depot Park.

Santa loved that Clarkston's mail carriers picked up 20,000 pounds of food while delivering mail to residents during the 21st Annual Stamp Out Hunger, a food drive carried out by mail carriers across the country.

Santa made a special note by the name of Emily Erwin, a young Independence Township resident who grew her hair out to 10 inches to donate to Michigan based charity Children with Hair Loss.

Santa grinned ear to ear when he heard about the Clarkston Lacrosse teams who raised $20,000 for St. Joseph Cancer center during Game for a Cure in May.

Santa said he will send special blessings for a Stand up to Cancer Event Committee that invited the community to stand up to cancer at the First Congressional Church. Mueva Fitness, offered the community a one hour yoga session along with entertainment and a silent auction of items donated by local businesses. The group's goal was to raise $5,000, but they hoped to raise $6,000 for the cause.

We told Santa about SCAMP, a special summer camp for special kids, and how tons of volunteers help with many fundraisers throughout the year. Although we could not tell Santa about all of the fundraisers for SCAMP, we did tell him about a Penny Drive held Independence Elementary. Mr. Lamb's third grade class raised the most at $440.01.

Santa said he can't wait to tell everyone at the North Pole about all the good deeds during the 16th Annual Rush for Food when players from the Clarkston High School Football team collected and sorted through 6,397 pounds of food. Players went door to door and asked for donations from the community to be donated to the Lighthouse of Oakland County in Clarkston. Student Jay Wright brought in 10 bags of food from home. Student Andrew Murray brought in 80 pounds of canned food.

CNEWS invited Santa to attend next year's Taste of Clarkston, an event that supports causes like Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County My Habitat Clarkston, Women Build Habitat for Humanity and Blessings in a Backpack, Friends of Ryan Kennedy, Easter Seals and more. In 2013, over 14,000 people attended to visit the 38 restaurants and vendors.

Santa listened intently as we told him about the many volunteers who have raised money for the Ryan Kennedy Memorial to install a playground at Clintonwood Park. Kennedy, passed away in May 2012 at 10-years-old after a five-year battle with a form of brain cancer.

The group has held several fundraisers to install the $300,000 equipment by spring 2014 and also raise money for research to prevent childhood cancer.Santa said the nice meter in the Clarkston area is impressive. "It's off the charts," he said.

Santa Paul of Michigan Association of Professional Santas and Santa Dave of Buckeye Santas in Ohio were in town visiting another Santa helper.

Staff writer
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