The email began with "How are you, Mr. Christmas?"
And just like that I knew it was time to get The Daily News Christmas Cheer Fund started for an 11th straight festive season.
So I am here today to tell you that the elves are pumped for another go and, yes, the doors are open.
Remember that this is the year when we surpass the $500,000 mark. In the first 10 years that we've been here, we have passed along $476,877.68, including more than $160,000 over the last two Christmas seasons alone.
With The Daily News picking up all costs associated with the operation of your Christmas Cheer Fund, we guarantee that every penny that comes into us goes out the door to one of the chosen charities.
Tim Shoults, the publisher of The Daily News, has gotten things off to a terrific start by kicking in $500. (Actually, truth be told, Tim wasn't the first. We actually had a couple of donations made in August. That's August as in real-hot-outside August. Merry Christmas!)
I can also tell you that lots of good folks already are on board with us.
Tim Labermeyer and all the great people at Walmart are with us again, so you can watch for that when you are in their store.
The gang at Rivershore Chrysler Dodge Jeep is back. In fact, the Mr. Christmas note came from Larriena Lonsberry, who is absolutely gung-ho about the fund. They'll be packing a Patriot with gifts again and also will be raising money for your fund. In fact, general manager Dan Laporte says they will donate $100 for every new car sold between Monday and Dec. 14.
As she put it: "Ahhhhh Ha!! So happy to be on board again."
As you might have guessed, I already have heard from Jim Doan over at the Western Karate Academy. He's got four Kick-A-Thons scheduled for the first week of December and his students, he says, "are in the community armed with pledge forms."
"The students," he adds, "are training hard so that they are ready to throw 1,000 kicks to support the Cheer Fund!"
If you're new to these parts, Jim and his students are among the Christmas Cheer Fund's most loyal supporters and we love them for it. By the way, a tip of the Halloween mask to the Mitra family who hold a haunted house every year and turn over donations to charities. They showed up at the academy earlier this month with a heavy bag that contained $783.20.
"So, we haven't even started yet and we're already headed for our first $1,000," Jim notes.
The elves also love Jim to death because they now they won't have to count the money that he brings in to them. (By the way, the head elf is just back from a few days off so she is rested and eager to get rolling.)
Ryan Lopes and the crew at High Octane Comics and Collectibles have been with us from the start and they're here again. In fact, they are a year-round supporter — there is a fancy donation tin on their front counter every day of the year. Drop by, say hello and drop in a loonie.
And, yes, the gals at Curves on Laval Crescent have thrown their support behind us once again. Linda Blackstock called to say the Christmas Cheer penny box is out once again. Linda and the bunch from Curves have been here from the start and we love them for it.
So . . . here we go. We are off and rolling, and if you continue reading you will discover that we already have surpassed $1,000 and, really, we are still in the starting gate.
This year, the selection committee picked five charities as beneficiaries — the Kamloops Food Bank, Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home, New Life Mission, Pregnancy Care Centre of Kamloops and YMCA-YWCA Y Women's Emergency Shelter.
If you would like to donate, watch for the Christmas Cheer Fund coupon that appears in this newspaper, or drop by the front desk at 393 Seymour St., and one of the elves will be glad to help.
Drive safely and we'll see you back here late next week.
Kamloops Daily News $500
Anna Evenrude $30
Omega Master Chapter Beta Sigma Phi $100
Lynne Murphy $20
Louise and Rod Murchie $25
Rita and Sigmund Lyster $200
Jenna and Kyle Kansky $100
TODAY'S TOTAL $1,104.48
PREVIOUS TOTAL $0.00
OVERALL TOTAL $1,104.48