December 2, 2023

Empty Stocking Fund: Since 1996, Wayne Kuyer and his colleagues at Kuyer and Associates have been dressing up as characters from the basic Charles Dickens 1843 novella and visiting companies in Langley.

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The Alastair Sim model, no query.

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That’s the reply Wayne Kuyer offers when requested about his favorite model of A Christmas Carol.

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Since 1996, Kuyer and his colleagues at Kuyer and Associates have been dressing up as characters from the basic Charles Dickens 1843 novella and visiting companies in Langley. In its 27 years of Christmas-time fundraising, the accounting agency has raised $373,863 for The Province Empty Stocking Fund and the Langley Christmas Bureau.

“We ship out a discover that Bob Cratchit and Jacob Marley are going to be coming into city,” Kuyer stated. “We choose every week and we go to individuals over that timeframe. They’re conscious that we’re persevering with a practice. In most situations, we’re concentrating on our common donors. Lots of people simply ship in cheques to maintain it easy.”

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Kuyer got here up with the thought along with his enterprise associate Stephen de Verteuil. They centered on Scrooge and Marley as a result of the characters “can be a straightforward match,” Kuyer stated.

Nevertheless, de Verteuil handed away in 2002, at 47.

“He at all times performed Scrooge and I at all times performed Marley,” Kuyer stated. “He was a means better-looking Scrooge than I used to be. When he handed away, I endeavoured to do that by myself. We devoted the trigger to him.”

Nowadays, the Scrooge costume is mothballed. Kuyer continues to be Marley, however now one other member of the agency, Kyle Murray, clothes as Bob Cratchit on their annual pilgrimages.

“I didn’t really feel it was acceptable for me to step into the Scrooge position, and I didn’t need Kyle to be my overlord,” Kuyer jokes.

Murray wanted little convincing, though dressing up as a Victorian gentleman and canvassing neighbourhood companies shouldn’t be within the traditional accounting agency job description.

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“Actually, by wanting on the historical past of the custom, you get offered instantly,” he stated. “And I’m outgoing, so it’s a enjoyable factor to do somewhat than a chore.”

Since this is a chance to socialize with some people who they normally solely see every year, the 2022 outing has particular resonance.

“We haven’t seen them in additional than a yr, in some situations,” Murray stated. “We had been very conscious of COVID and being conscious that not all people needs individuals coming and going. COVID has tempered our strategy to a level. This yr, we’ll be out and about a bit of greater than within the final two years.”

Regardless of being house- and office-bound the final couple of years, Kuyer and Associates nonetheless raised a few of its largest hauls within the effort’s historical past. In 2020, they introduced in just below $28,000, and final yr noticed over $33,000 in donations.

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“Our goal this yr is $25,000,” Kuyer stated. “Final yr, we had two very beneficiant contributors. I’ll hit them up once more, however we’re not anticipating fairly the identical windfall.”

The donations type a part of the quantity collected annually for the Empty Stocking Fund. Now in its 104th yr, The Province’s annual Christmas marketing campaign raises cash for neighborhood and charitable companies that present meals, toys and different objects for native households and folks in want at Christmas.

“Actually, it’s simply to get our faces again in entrance of individuals,” Murray stated of their annual donor drive. This yr, it takes place Dec. 12-16.

“Persons are normally fairly joyful to see us. Particularly in the event that they’re common donors. Strolling into new companies, we would get bizarre appears to be like, however by the top of it everybody’s laughing and having time.”

“Once you go into a few of these places of work we’re coping with individuals who have skilled this for the final 10 or 15 years,” Kuyer stated. “It’s a practice. For instance, we’ll stroll right into a dentist’s workplace when he’s in the midst of a process. However very often, they’ll wish to step outdoors to acknowledge we’re there and share a couple of ideas.” After the filling, we hope.

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