A stranger's kindness helps keeps the Christmas spirit alive in Hudson
By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Hudson – It is easy to get jaded by the holidays each year, especially when stores barely get the Halloween candy off the shelves before the Christmas items take their place. But every so often, there is a story that reminds you it doesn's really matter what you celebrate this time of year whether it is Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, the winter solstice or just winter. Because deep down, we know material items don's really matter. It's the people in our lives that are important.
Recently members of the Hudson Lodge of Elks 959 shared a story that stresses that point. It seems like an old-fashioned Hollywood tale but Elks member Angela Govatsos assures that it is 100 percent true.
Each year the Hudson Elks sell Christmas trees as part of their efforts to raise money for scholarships for local high school students. Last year, through tree sales, bingo and other fundraisers, the group gave out $64,000. Over the past 105 years, the Hudson Elks has awarded over $1 million dollars.
On one of the first days of this year's tree sale, a man told the workers that he wished to pay for a tree for a family who had a little girl.
Shortly thereafter a couple came to the lot, accompanied by their daughter, who was about seven years old. After they had made their selection, the man walked up to them and said he would like to purchase their tree for them.
His reason for doing so was personal, he said. It was a way for him to honor his own beloved young daughter, who had passed away a few years ago.
“He showed the little girl his daughter's picture, who he said was now with Jesus,” Govatsos said. “He said how she loved to decorate a swag every year and called it her Christmas branch.”
The little girl's was wide-eyed as she listened to the story, Govatsos said, as the adults tried to keep their composure.
But then as children often do, the little girl lightened the mood.
“Are those zebra glasses on top of your head?” she asked the man
The man allowed her to try them on and noticing how much she liked them, told her the glasses were hers to keep.
“This man is well-known for doing these kinds of gestures, but he does not want any public acknowledgment,” Govatsos said. “It's just his way to make sure that his daughter's memory is always kept alive.”
As it turns out, the family was the only customer that night. But all agreed – it was a perfect way to start the Christmas season.
The Elks are located at 99 Park St. Trees will be on sale each day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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