GEORGE TOWN: Motorists passing through Macalister Road here had a pleasant surprise when they were “mobbed” by 40 Santas and Santarinas in front of the Aspen Group’s head office.
Besides giving out free cookies while merry Yuletide jingles echoed in the background, the red-costumed characters also danced on the sidewalk, together with Aspen Group staff.
Some of them did jigs on a nearby pedestrian crossing whenever the traffic lights turned red, entertaining the waiting motorists.
The Santa’s Merry Mob lasted for around 15 minutes and 1,000 cookies were distributed.
Aspen Group president and chief executive officer Datuk M. Murly, who led the team, said the event was organised to spread Christmas cheer to the public.
“It’s another way for us to get closer to the community and a good way to demonstrate the spirit of giving during Christmas time,” he said.
The group has also set up grand festive decorations in the premises, comprising giant gift boxes and a Magical Wishing Wall.
The latter was part of a campaign that ran from Dec 1-15, in which anyone could write down festive wishes for their loved ones or the underprivileged.
More than 500 wishing cards were collected over the two-week period. Thoughtful wishes which met the pre-set criteria were then granted by the group.
A specially set-up Secret Santa Dream Team then worked round the clock to deliver all the gifts to the lucky ones before Christmas Day.
“We received overwhelming response from the public for this campaign.
“The many thoughtful and touching Christmas wishes show that we live in a caring community,” said Murly.
The group spent RM350,000 for the entire campaign, granting 80 wishes. Among those fulfilled were school necessities for 32 underprivileged students in the state.
Others included a washing machine for an elderly grandmother, a television and Marvel figurines to cheer up cancer patients, flower bouquets to express gratitude to mothers, chocolates to thank a kind neighbour and a laptop for a friend, among others.
Recipients across Penang island and the mainland were taken aback when they were surprised with presents delivered by Aspen’s Magical Truck, a vehicle resembling a present with a red ribbon atop it.