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Tory Tedder-Loffland


In the Community


Secret Santa's Sneaky Ways a OEC employees play elves


It is no longer a secret—Citizen's Advisory Board's (CAB) Secret Santa program


was a hit! For the third consecutive year, OEC's engineering department put their elf hats on and got busy giving. OEC members have given to the Secret Santa program via Operation Round Up® donations for years, but OEC's engineering department employees wanted to be more personally involved in the process. Looking for a way to use spare change collected throughout the year, Patrick


Grace, VP of engineering and a CAB board member, suggested the program. Involvement, however, is completely employee driven. "We started shopping for two kids our first year," said Rick Beaulieu, lead field designer, "then four the next, and now five. I loved it so much the first year that I started collecting money on my own just in case we didn't participate again—but we did and I dumped a year's worth of change into the pot. It's fun. It's just awesome to do something to help the kids." Stephanie Canida, work order coordinator, beams when she talks about


the program. "I love doing it—it's a reason to get out on Black Friday," she said, meaning she hits the sales hard. "I want to get as much for these kids as we possibly can." CAB sets a price cap per child and Stephanie—with other elves like her—is out there braving the holiday crowds in order to get the best deals allowing her to give as much as she can. She admitted, "I hate not being able to buy everything on their lists." Since its humble beginning in 1989 gifting presents to 69 children,


CAB's Secret Santa program has expanded to bringing joy to over 700 children in out-of-home care. Tis is only possible because Cleveland County residents volunteer time and money to make this one day, of all days, special. It's something to be proud of.


A sample of presents OEC's engineering department shopped for in 2013.


News Magazine 9


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