Sunday, Aug 19, 2018
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Santa accepting mail from Toledo kids

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    The letters to Santa box at The Durty Bird.

    The Blade/Ignazio Messina
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    Five-year-old Burkely Kunce drops his letter to Santa at Ye Old Durty Bird.

    The Blade/Ignazio Messina
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Five-year-old Burkely Kunce was chowing down on lunch at Ye Old Durty Bird in downtown Toledo when his mom had a great idea to get a jump on his letter to Santa.

Luckily for the boy who moved to the Toledo area with his family from New Orleans, the restaurant is one of nine spots in the city with dedicated mailboxes just for the jolly big guy in red.


The letters to Santa box at The Durty Bird.

The Blade/Ignazio Messina
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The contents of the letter were secret, and Burkely was in no mood on Wednesday to share what he requested for Christmas.

Payton DeMoe — who organized this year’s letters to Santa effort — said each child who writes Saint Nick and drops their letter in one of the special mailboxes will get a letter back from Santa.

“I always dreamed of receiving a letter from Santa,” said Ms. DeMoe, a manager of the Toledo Hemp Center on Phillips Avenue. “I can imagine the excitement of getting a letter back from the jolly man himself. It has to be truly exciting for a child, so we decided to find a convenient way for local businesses to get involved, by becoming hosting sites for the boxes.”

Since this is Santa's busy time of the year, with roughly one month until Christmas, University of Toledo business co-ed fraternity, Gamma Eta chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, will be helping Santa write letters back to each child who includes a return address.

Kevin Spitler, Toledo Hemp Center chief operating officer, said the fraternity somehow has a direct line to Santa.

“We wanted to step it up and find boxes for different locations around the city,” Mr. Spitler said.

The other businesses teamed up for the holiday effort are both locations of Toledo Family Pharmacy,  Deet’s BBQ locations, Dually’s Gastropub, Dandino’s Pizza, and Pizza Cat.

“I think it is a great idea of the Alpha Kappa Psi pledges to help children find a fun way to get their letters to Santa this year, with help from local businesses,” said Ye Olde Durty Bird Assistant General manager KC Saint John. “Let’s create some special memories for our kids.”

The Santa mailboxes will be at the locations until Dec. 15.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com419-724-6171, or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.

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