HodgePodge By Charlie Hodge: Last Chance for Angels.

Last Chance for Angels

By Charlie Hodge.

There were a few years when I fully stopped believing in Santa Claus. Thankfully that phase did not last long.

My first phase of non-belief was around age 10 or 11 when adults and other kids finally bullied and ruined the Santa concept out of me. I had met a genuine Mrs. Claus named Phyllis Kitson who made me want to hang onto the idea of Santa longer but eventually even she was not powerful enough to stop the non-believing from creeping in.

Over the years I met lots of folks who loved Christmas almost as much as me though admittedly none quite as crazy about Christmas as Tez. Still it took a miracle a few years ago for me to finally return to full believing. With the assistance of the great architect of the universe – a couple of amazing surgeons and a hospital of incredible doctors and nurses brought me back from the dead zone a time or two.

I remember two years ago begging and praying God to let me come home for Christmas and had my wish answered. Again in January of this year I wound up on life support and after a couple of days was brought back from the other side. How blessed am I.
Suffice to say I now believe in miracles again so believing in Santa Claus is easy. And fun.

Those surgeons and nurses were all angels to me and make my Charlie’s Angels List this year along with Colleen my hair cutter, Brad Sieben for rides home regularly from council meetings, Mohini Singh for bringing me council packages when I am not up to snuff, and my Tez for going way above and beyond everything in being my top angel.

It seems readers are finding angels for Charlie’ Christmas Angels List everywhere this year. Jackie Prokop writes, “My husband and I were ‘Ringing The Bells’ this past Saturday at Mission Park Mall when two small angels visited us. One was a little boy, about four years old. He had just been gifted with $5.00 from a stranger but told his mom he didn’t want it. He saw us and decided that was where he wanted his money to go. The second angel was a girl, seven or eight years old. She and her family had just completed the Santa Shuffle and she had brought her own money to donate. As she was taking the coins from her Tupperware container, I asked her how she earned the money…she told me she held a garage sale. Bless their hearts and their parents for raising such amazing kids.”

Well known rock n’ roller Jim LeGuilloux says another rock n’ roller is his hero angel this year. “I would like to nominate Brad Krauza to your list. I recently had the pleasure (for the second time) to produce Brads Miracle on 97st Christmas record. This was Brad’s concept to get local musicians and bands together to play and record live a Christmas record to be sold and the money to go towards deserving families at Christmas. That alone is such a great charitable thing to do. Organizing 10 acts, promoting the event, and making arrangements to record, print, and sell copies all in about a month is quite the feat! To top it all off, while Brad was emceeing the event, taking care of staff, managing the auctions and loading in equipment, another obstacle showed up. The sound guy who volunteered cancelled last minute! So without blinking an eye, Brad donned his iPad and ran house sound as well as the 10 other duties on his plate.

“Brad Krauza is also responsible for creating an annual charity golf tournament and running Gonzo magazine full time. He is an amazing musician, stellar friend and definitely a Christmas angel,” LeGuilloux adds.

Former Kelowna Buckaroo and NHL star Gene Carr writes from Los Angeles, “Hey Charlie Shan Lavell is the only angel I know. She is so giving and loving and puts others in front of herself always. To put up with me for two years after my concussion issues that makes her an angel as well as all she does for her town.”

Friend and co-councillor Loyal Wooldridge sent an angel as well. “One of my clients (Loyal is a hair dresser) Pam Watland who works with Hands In Service has been volunteering for over 20 years to support the most vulnerable. She even brought me snacks on the day that we made the tent decision since she knew how much stress we were under. She quietly goes about her work.”

Reader Louise McGauley, “When we wanted to move into this gated community instead of going through a realtor we drove by and stopped by Julie’s house, a resident of Sandalwood, (unknown to us) and asked if she knew what was for sale? She was our angel – she showed us all around and said before we left said, ”I will find you a place.” Within a week she had two places for us to look at and God willing our offer was accepted on one! The rest is history! We really appreciated our angel!

Robert Nerbus nominates freemason Dick Auty. “He gets my vote for his cancer car work he does. Hours and hours of giving.”

Last chance for angels is next week so send them to me by Saturday. charliehodge333@gmail.com

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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