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ClausNet Gazette: News from the Santa Claus Network

September 2010

Volume 2, Issue 9

Back to School!

By Michael Rielly

Dog Days of Summer!It's starting to look a lot like Fall these days. The kids are back to school, and I've already started raking a few leaves here in New England. September is also when most of us start getting ready for the Christmas season! Many of us have already started booking events and a few folks have already made several appearances!

Last month kicked off two of our popular ClausNet Annual Events! The Third Annual Christmas Card Exchange and the Third Annual Christmas Ornament Exchange are now underway. For more information, check the ClausNet Contests and Happenings forum!

We hope you enjoy the September edition of the ClausNet Gazette! As always, if you have a product or a story that you would like to share with your fellow members, please feel free to contact us!

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In The News

Breaking News on ClausNet

Raggedy Ann remains forever young at 95 -- She rose from humble beginnings to become an American icon. She has inspired the sales of more than 50 million books and products since her introduction in 1915, and she has appeared in everything from "The Office" to "Family Guy." She is a mascot for sororities nationwide. And she's been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame and was named one of the top 100 toys on VH1's "I Love Toys" special.

She's Raggedy Ann, and she's a universal beacon of generosity, compassion and love. On Sept. 7, 2010, Raggedy Ann turns 95, and in honor of that important milestone, the enduring symbol of friendship now boasts a fresh-yet retro-look that makes her even more lovable than ever before.

To mark her 95th anniversary, Applause by Russ has created exclusive, vintage-inspired Raggedy Ann and Andy Anniversary dolls that harken back to the illustrations from the earliest Raggedy Ann books by Johnny Gruelle, who created Raggedy Ann for his daughter, Marcella, in 1915.

The Anniversary Raggedy Ann closely resembles the character from the 1930 Raggedy Ann in the Deep, Deep Woods: rich, burnt-red hair (as opposed to the contemporary fire-engine red) tied in a bow; white-gloved hands; an outline around the eyes; and a more muted color palette.
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Court action on Santa debt now looming

The Mountain Press -- The city appears set to go to court to get its money from the local couple that organized a Santa-themed festival, after they failed to meet the latest deadline for making payments on use of city facilities and services.

City officials have said the couple did not pay about 60 percent of the bill for the 2009 festival. They said the Moores promised to pay the bills before the second event, but this past March, just before the event was set to happen, the Moores informed them that they could not pay the remaining bill and would not be able to make payments on this year's event, either. Their latest deadline for payment has now passed, and City Manager Cindy Cameron Ogle said she has turned the matter over to City Attorney Ron Sharp.
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Organizers agree to Christmas parade at night

The Paris News -- Bring out the lights. Paris will have a nighttime Christmas parade this year for the first time in recent history. The word comes from The Paris Downtown Association, the parade sponsor for the past two years.

'We're going to have a nighttime parade,' said Kari Daniel, PDA president.

The decision was made by unanimous vote at the group's monthly meeting earlier this month.

'We've talked about it for the past two years. We talked to people who were in the parade, too, and many of them loved the idea,' Daniel said.

The parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 4. Other details are still being worked out.
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Once a staple at former East Dundee theme park, animal menagerie coming next month

Elgin Courier News -- When Jason Sierpien worked his first job as a farmhand in Old McDonald's Farm at Santa's Village, it was the last of the "three worlds of fun" that the amusement park added.

Sterling Bay bought the Santa's Village property in 2005 and reportedly was negotiating with an amusement park operator to keep the park open up until its rides were auctioned off in October 2006. Its three worlds of fun -- Old McDonald's Farm, Coney Island and Santa's World -- had made East Dundee a destination for 46 years.

"The site has always been an entertainment and amusement venue, and that's really what it should be," O'Connor said. "We're very excited for the site to be back on people's radar screens and to be a destination for people in and around Chicago."
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'Family Affair' Actress Kathy Garver to Play Nun in Christmas Comedy -- Actress Kathy Garver, best known for portraying the older sister, Cissy, on the classic CBS sitcom "Family Affair", has been signed to co-star in the Christmas movie "Santa's Dog," scheduled for production this fall in San Francisco.

In the film, Miss Garver will portray Sister Augustus, a nun at an orphanage where a young boy named Max is about to face the loneliest Christmas of his young liife, until he meets up with a talking dog and follows him on a magical, comical adventure to show how worthy he is of being removed from Santa's "naughty" list and placed instead on the "nice" list.

The title role in "Santa's Dog" will be played by Hercules, the lovable pit bull from Animal Planet's popular reality series, "Pit Boss." Hercules' owner, Shorty Rossi, who stars on "Pit Boss," will provide the voice of Herc in the movie. Plans call for future "Pit Boss" episodes to follow both Herc and Rossi behind the scenes during production of the film. Further casting decisions have not as yet been announced.

Garver has appeared in TV series and movies, narrated audio books and provided character voices for various children's animated programs. Until now, however, she has never portrayed a nun something she said she has always dreamed of doing.
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Toys for Tots expenditures questioned -- Every year, for more than 30 years now, the Toys for Tots from Cops program run by the Valencia County Sheriff's Department has been reaching out to the community and asking folks to dig deep to help out economically disadvantaged children across the county, with either a toy or cash. But this year, all that might come to an end because questions are being asked about how some of those donated funds are being used.

"It seems like any time I try to do something good for the public, I get pushed down," complained Sheriff Rene Rivera. "We are not misusing or stealing funds. We do the best we can with what we have. The money is raised to help make these kids feel better. I keep getting put down for doing the right thing."
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Featured Member - September 2010

VetteCitySantaEach month, our Featured Member section profiles one ClausNet member.

Members are chosen totally at random by myself and the staff. Once selected as Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview here. This is a great way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!

This month our featured ClausNet Member is VetteCitySanta!

Santa Bob aka VetteCitySanta has been a ClausNet member since early 2009.

A few interesting facts about our Santa Bob that I didn't get to in our interview; Bob is an accomplished actor with over 25 years of experience on stage.

He's an ordained minister, a veteran of the US Air Force, and a licensed barber.

ClausNET Featured Member of the Month

I spoke with Bob a few days ago. Here's what he had to say...
Read the entire interview »

Visit our Featured Members of the Month section to read past interviews!

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To Smoke or Not? That is the question. Or is it?

Posted in 'Another Day in Paradise' blog by Cindylu

Today, I was perusing the various Sites on the Internet that interest me while taking a little time off from 'bedrest' due to Pneumonia. This is day six with the bedrest and frankly, it's starting to get 'old' and my body aches from lack of exercise.

The first couple days, I don't remember much about, but once the strong antibiotics kicked in, improvement has taken place each day. As a former smoker for 40 years, I can say without question, my life has improved a great deal since kicking the habit 3 1/2 years ago, but unfortunately the damage cannot be undone, just something I must live with as best I can and that means being very susceptible to Pneumonia in spite of having taken the Pneumonia Vaccine.

This is the first bout of it, though in those 3 1/2 years of non-smoking, whereas when I was still smoking I could count on coming down with it at least twice a year, most of the time more. Oh that I could go back and correct that choice I made to start smoking. Back then, I was 15 years old and very, very tuned in to 'cool' and it was NOT cool to NOT smoke! For a young and impressionable kid seeking approval from peers there was never a consideration to NOT smoke but parents discouraged it until reaching adulthood, so like the typical teen of my day, I sneaked behind their backs and smoked cigarettes every chance I could and certainly when I was hanging around with my friends.

I had ONE friend that couldn't smoke because she had bad asthma and would go into coughing fits when around smoke. Because of my smoking habit, I lost touch with that friend, so I guess you could say smoking started 'costing' me right from the start. If I had one thing I could choose to go back in time and change, my decision to start smoking would be the one I would choose.

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Night Before Christmas in Japan

by Steve Marshall

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through Japan Not a creature was stirring, 'cept some drunk businessman. The stockings were hung by the kotatsu with care In hopes that Sainto Nichorasu soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug on the floor With all of their shoes lined up by the door. And mama and I, when our door had been latched Had just gone to bed in yukata that matched.

When out in the street there arose such a clatter I sprang from my futon to see what was the matter. Away to the glass doors I started to go Hit my head on the doorframe, it's so low you know. Something had fell on the streets down below And through all of the smog, it looked something like snow. When what to my sleepy filled eyes should appear,

But a shiny red Nissan being pulled by some deer. But the driver was HUGE and half naked, that's weird It's not Santa at all it's a sumo with a beard. With the ease that he pushes his opponents out of the ring All the names of his reindeer he started to sing. On Michi, on Kenji, on Matsu and Ishi, On Sato, on Tetsu and, of course, ol' Konishiki. They flew through the air with the speed of a cheetah But I heard that they won't let them land at Narita.

The next thing I heard was my door go KA-BOOM! And the guy standing there took up half of the room. Oh my gosh he was HUGE, I've never seen so much mass And that thing that he wore barely covered his BUTT. He spoke not a word but went straight to our sockies And filled them all up with some sushi and Pockies. I gave him some anpan but he ate a lot more Then he yelled a loud 'HAI' as he pushed through the door.

He called to his team in a way quite possessive And then they took off, now THAT was impressive. But I heard him exclaim as he flew through the sky 'Merry Ku-ri-su-masu minasan, Oyasumi-nasai!'
Read More »

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Santa Voices of the Past

Each month we feature a quote from a famous Santa Claus of the past. This month's quote comes to us from Ray Jochum.

Ray JochumReplacing a legend is often a hard thing to do, even in the world of Santa Claus. But one Santa was up to the job.

Ray Jochum began playing Santa Claus at the age of 22 in 1938 near Santa Claus, Indiana. When Santa Claus Land started closing at Christmas in 1978, Jochum filled the gap by using his own farm and creating a theme attraction during the Holiday. Jochum's wife Frances would prepare as many as 6,000 cookies to be given out to the children that would visit Santa Ray at 'Christmas at Lone Oak Farm'. With Jim Yellig getting on in years, Jochum was asked to start filling in for Jim in 1980. By 1981, Jochum was working much more than Yellig, even though he is not credited as the official Santa.

After Yellig's death in 1984, Ray Jochum was given the official title of Santa Claus.

"There will always be a Santa Claus for as long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west."

Ray Jochum
1916 - 1992

Want to learn more Santa Claus history? Check out the following:

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