Traverse City Record-Eagle


December 30, 2013

Northern Notes: Several 'Santas' stop to help traveler

Santa Claus is alive and well in Traverse City. In fact, several of them helped retired judge John R. Milligan on Christmas Eve.

After a safe 450-mile drive from North Canton, Ohio, John turned onto Lautner Drive in Williamsburg and slid into a snowbank.

“Immediately several cars stopped and five ‘Santas’ came to the rescue, pulling the car out and sending us on our way,” John wrote. “Uncommon kindness (was) greatly appreciated by this traveler. Thanks for this Christmas gift whoever you are.”


More than 500 toys found their way into the hands of area children on Christmas Day thanks to students at Holy Angels and Immaculate Conception schools in Traverse City.

Jan Cleland of Traverse City, a retired Immaculate Conception School teacher, wrote to thank the Traverse City Fire Department and the State Theatre for their role in getting the toys into the hands of the children.

“I want to thank the T.C. Fire Department for helping collect and distribute the toys,” Jan wrote. “They arrived in front of the State Theatre with Santa and their fire truck to collect ... the toys.”

Jan also thanked the State Theatre and its volunteers, especially Lois Mainz, who coordinated all the volunteers required to present movies and popcorn to the more than 500 children after they donated the toys on Dec. 13.

“Thank you to all the children who presented toys (and) thank you to the children from Immaculate Conception School who, in addition to the toys they donated, also collected enough money to buy five bicycles,” Jan wrote.

She also acknowledged Huntington Bank for donating helmets to go with the bikes and Meijer, who donated a $50 gift card to help with the purchase when they heard the students wanted to buy bikes.

“Firefighter Roxan Hesseneur told me that all the toys collected from the children of Holy Angels and Immaculate Conception really ‘saved’ them this year,” Jan wrote. “Isn’t it something that the firefighters feel we saved them when that is what they do for our community every day of the year? For all that ... I thank them.”

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