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Phone Call Santa Ignores Recession, Makes Things Brighter for Children

Businessman Helps Family, Others with Phone Calls From Santa Idea

Hickory, NC, November 29, 2007 --( A Hickory, North Carolina man refuses to become just another statistic in his city’s high jobless rate. Determination, an enterprising spirit, and the desire to help others while helping his family encouraged Brian Keller to become his childhood hero: Santa Claus--at least on the telephone.

Keller, who is self-employed, decided to start the seasonal business of making calls to children as Santa Claus after traditional employment prospects in his town, rated by Forbes magazine as one of the worst places in the country to find jobs, seemed bleak.

“I could wallow in self-pity, but my family means the world to me,” said Keller. “I decided to stop complaining about life’s setbacks and do something positive.”

The 50-year-old Keller, complete with glasses and a full, mostly white beard, seems a natural to portray Santa. His strong baritone voice--a “gift” from his days as a radio announcer-- appeals to children from 1 to 92.

“I actually played the part of Santa years ago,” Keller laughed. “I lost count of the number of babies that wet on my lap or spit up on my shoulder.”

For a small fee, Santa will call children of all ages in the United States and Canada, talking with them about their hopes, dreams, and Christmas wish list.

“To hear a child’s voice light up with joy and laughter during a call is a wonderful thing,” Keller, who is studying to become a child therapist, said. “It brightens my day.”

The father of four said that, despite his area’s economy, he feels blessed. As a result, a portion of the proceeds from his Santa calls will be donated to child-related charities.

“That way, their holiday may be a little brighter,” Keller said. “Besides, childhood should be a special time.”

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Brian W. Keller

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