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Carlo Klemm

Mary Ida Doan

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Carlo Klemm

Mary Ida Doan

January 1, 2009

by Patti Brandt

Bay City Times

Excerpt:

Mary Ida Doan calls herself ''the lady who helps Mrs. Santa Claus'' by occasionally taking over her duties and giving her a break.

Being Mrs. Claus, she tells her young grandchildren, is hard work and the gal needs to put up her feet once in a while.

But Doan, 70, may be all talk, as it is she who rarely takes a break - especially at Christmas time.

....

This year marked Doan's 50th season of playing Santa's spouse, and the distinction between the character and the real person may be a little blurred. Though Mrs. Claus may not be the star, her kind face and ample lap may be a draw for children who are too afraid to approach the jolly man.

''So many times children are afraid of Santa,'' Doan said. ''Mrs. Claus is kind of the buffer.''

Though it is not a full-time gig - there are actually four pairs of Santa and Mrs. Clauses - Doan also does all the scheduling at the Santa House. She also takes children on tours of the house, reads to them and takes them outside to feed the visiting reindeer.

....

Playing Mrs. Claus has never been a paying job, Doan said, and every child should have the opportunity to see Santa.

''You have to have it in your heart. If you don't, don't bother putting the suit on. You cannot do it for the money.''

The Hardy Award comes with a $500 donation made to a local charity chosen by the awardee. Doan's donation will go to the Santa House.

But in the end the children - not awards and money - are what Doan will remember.

She recently had a woman bring in a picture of herself at age 5 on Santa Nate Doan's lap.

''That meant a lot to me,'' she said. ''How can you ever forget these things? It just warms your heart to know that you've made an impact on their lives.''

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Michael Rielly

I met Mary Ida back at the school a few years ago. She is a very sweet lady.

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Santa Everett

She was at CWH this year. Very sweet lady.

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Santa Bill

I meet her at CWH school this year. A very sweet and specal Lady.

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Nora

She and Her husband were the second generation teachers of the CWH Santa school and have a Santa house in Bay city for the kids to visit Santa each year.

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Iowa Santa Claus

Yeah read that in the article. Very very nice lady. She always has time to chat. One of very few left in the world that trained under C.W. Howard and his wife, and those numbers are slowly decreasing. Hats off to a wonderful lady.

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