A singing card

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 26, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Channeling the spirit of a man named Claus, someone from Re/Max Across Town reality gave their co-workers a special Christmas present on Wednesday evening.

At Barbara Kayes’ Riverview Avenue home, the annual holiday party flew into swing, as carols blasted from the stereo and the co-workers dined on appetizers by the fireplace.


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Suddenly, the doorbell rang. Donna Perry of the Suffolk Red Cross strolled into the living room, followed by King’s Fork High student Ashley Koncz and her parents Angela and Frank.

&uot;This is from Santa to all of you,&uot; Perry said to the guests. &uot;It’s a thank you for being so giving during the holiday times.&uot; Someone had made an anonymous donation to the Red Cross, and Perry was gifting them with a display of the organization’s Living Christmas Card program.

Appropriately enough, the trio started off with a rendition of &uot;We Wish You a Merry Christmas,&uot; that had several visitors chiming in. They then went to &uot;O Come Let us Adore Him,&uot; and Ashley wowed the crowd with a solo of &uot;O Holy Night.&uot;

&uot;This has been heartwarming,&uot; said Ashley, who splits her high school time at the Governor’s School of the Arts. Delivering live Christmas cards at nursing homes, businesses, office parties and other events, the Living Card program, in its inaugural year, raised hundreds for the Red Cross. The money, in part, will be donated to disaster victims across Suffolk.

&uot;You see people’s faces, and you can tell how happy it makes them,&uot; Ashley said.

&uot;This has been a lot of fun, and I hope it continues next year.&uot; So does her mom.

&uot;It used to be that people came to your door and sang carols,&uot; said Angela. &uot;Virginia is a state that’s so rich in history, and caroling and music enlighten the heart and the holiday season.&uot;

Perry also would like the bring the Cards back the next time winter comes to visit.

&uot;Just from the response, I know we’ll be back next year,&uot; she said. &uot;We’re going to be a lot bigger.&uot;

Inside, the partiers returned to celebration with a bit more cheer.

&uot;I thought that was wonderful,&uot; Kayes said. &uot;(Ashley) had a beautiful voice. I’d love to see that again, and tell all my friends.&uot;

Throughout the year, said Re/Max owner Harry Cross, &uot;we’ve had good salesmanship, but we’ve also had to deal with several challenges. Some people around the office were ill, others had to deal with family situations. We’ve really been helping and supporting each other. My guess is that whoever (made the donation) was saying a special thank you.

&uot;Thank you, Santa,&uot; Cross said when asked what he’d say to the gifter. &uot;It’s quite humbling to have this happen to us, and it’s inspiring too, because it makes us want to get out there and keep working hard. It’s a wonderful gift, to be recognized.&uot;