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Twelve days of kindness
Generous secret Santa keeps them guessing at the SPCA
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Chase Inman, director of marketing and development/volunteer coordinator with the local SPCA, shows some of the items the SPCA has received from its secret Santa. (Bulletin photo)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

Please sing along (be creative in trying to make it rhyme) ...

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: five cheese pizzas.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a large red tote.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a huge tray of yummy fudge.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a big tray of ginger snaps.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: CO-CO-NUT CAKE.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: banana bread and a $50 gift card.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: assorted crackers and cheese ball dips.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: chocolate and peppermint candy.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Rice Krispies, covered in chocolate and m&m’s.

On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: cake and frappuccinos.

The staff at the Martinsville-Henry County SPCA could have been singing a tune like that the last few days, because a “secret Santa” (or Santas) has been leaving those gifts.

Leslie Hervey, executive director of the local SPCA, said she doesn’t have a clue who it is, but she and her staff are “silly excited.”

“Is it you?” Hervey asked this reporter. (Nope) Then she asked if it is Bulletin Editor Ginny Wray. (Not to my knowledge, but Wray did give me this assignment. Hmmm, I wonder.)

Hervey said she and her staff are coming to work early or calling before they get there to find out the gift of the day or if anyone has figured out who secret Santa is.

Secret Santa comes in the middle of the night and leaves the gift, along with a note.

Saturday was Day 10.

Let’s backtrack:

Day 1 – Pizza man arrived with five cheese pizzas and a card that read, “On the first day of Christmas a surprise arrived for us: an Italian lunch for the staff and volunteer bunch. Keep your eyes open for more fun. With Christmas around the corner, it has just begun.”

Day 2 – A large red tote contained a huge fruit basket. The card read: “The second day of Christmas brings lots of healthy things to those who make sure kittens are fit, which makes them quite the hit, and for you who keep the puppies in the pink so they don’t raise a stink!”

Day 3 — Huge tray of fudge. The card read: “The third day of Christmas — you have surely passed the litmus for those who care for our pets. Our treats for you will win all bets. Be the judge. Enjoy the fudge!”

Day 4 – Big tray of ginger snaps. The card read: “Bringing in the fourth day so let’s deliver a thank-you for your giving ways. Volunteers and professionals never say, ‘Neigh.” They keep bad things at bay, making our animals happy and out of harm’s way. So here’s a ginger with a snap. Eat a few and take a nap!”

Day 5 — The biggest coconut cake Hervey has ever seen with candy canes decorating the edges. The card read: “Christmas count is five. You’re busy as a hive. All you share with our animals comes back to all you mammals. Coconut cake is fun to bake. Eat it all for goodness sake!”

Day 6 — Six miniature banana nut cake loafs and a $50 Subway gift card. The card read: “On the sixth day of Christmas, banana bread for brunch and Subway for lunch. No need to reciprocate, I want to give, not take. It’s all about you and what you do for those animals seeking shelter from outside helter-skelter. We’re halfway through the twelve days. My plans for you will be fun in many ways. Much better than my rhymes, which can be corny at times.”

Day 7 — Basket of assorted crackers and two cheese ball-type dips in Santa pet food bowls. The card read: “The seventh day of Christmas is here to bring you cheer. You work hard and smart to make our SPCA top of the mart. From Fido to Chewsers, from fur balls to Halloween, your fund-raising is always amazing. Salty today instead of sweet. Make the most of these treats.”

Day 8 — A tin of marble bark (chocolate candy) and several pieces of peppermint bark. The note said, “The eighth day will start in the park where the dogs can frolic and learn how to bark while you enjoy the marble bark as well as the peppermint bark and see if you can practice your elf bark.”

Day 9 — A huge plate of Rice Krispies, covered in chocolate and m&m’s. The note said: “Here’s our Kitty Scout who wonders what the dog is all about. She’s a Maine Coon weighting 18 pounds. She’s almost as big as a hound. And it’s lucky she was found!"

Day 10 — Cake and frappuccinos. The note said: “Now take a break. Have some cake. Here’s some latte. Have a partee!”

Hervey said the SPCA staff is “acting like little kids.”

“We’re all so exited. We’re suspicious of everybody,” she added.

Among those she has suspected of being the secret Santa(s) are the members of the SPCA board of directors, but they all have raised their hands and sworn no, Hervey said.

She has started to “accuse random people of being kind,” she said, adding she did that at the dentist’s office.

She thought the word “corny” (see Day 6) might indicate it was an older person, but young people told her they say “corny” too.

There also were clues on Day 9. SPCA staff wrote on their Facebook page: “Our Secret Santa is sweet, wonderful and we love her/him/them. The late night cooking and sneaking up to the SPCA is wearing her/him/them down. They are calling it day eight today (it’s day nine) and they told us their cat’s name is SCOUT!!! Even sent a picture of the most adorable cat ... .”

To be honest, Hervey said, if SPCA staff members really were determined to find out, they probably could because the SPCA has a security camera and they could replay the film.

But that would spoil the excitement, she said.

“In light of all the bad things in the world, for someone to go to so much trouble (and expense) is wonderful,” Hervey said.

“We just hope they will come forward” at some point, she said of secret Santa. “It will be terrible if we never find out.”

“We (the SPCA staff) ought to do it as a group for somebody else next year. It’s so nice,” Hervey said.


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