Local Santas save Rudolph shirts, too PDF Print E-mail
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor   
Friday, 07 December 2012 10:46
Sweaters promoting the Rudolph Post Office are seen on a counter inside the post office. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
RUDOLPH - Several temporary Santas have come through to put Rudolph and his glowing nose on Christmas mailings once again. And now another Santa of sorts is ensuring the reindeer makes his annual appearance on holiday apparel.
Tom Konecny, of Bowling Green, was relieved to hear the Rudolph cancellation stamp would still be printed onto all the Christmas mailings going through the post office in Rudolph, a few miles south of Bowling Green.
"Every year I drive down there with my Christmas cards," to get the red-nosed reindeer's image inked on the envelopes, Konecny said.
That holiday tradition was almost lost when U.S. Postal Service cuts left one person staffing the Rudolph office. Postmaster Charlotte Lamb said there was no way she could handle the holiday influx of nearly 80,000 Christmas cards from senders wanting the official Rudolph cancellation stamp.
However, after State Rep. Randy Gardner and Liberty Township Trustees got involved, the U.S. Postal Service agreed to let volunteers stamp Rudolph's likeness on the holiday mail.
Postmaster Charlotte Lamb takes a look at a sweater after receving a few boxes of them.
Cutting through that red tape for the red-nosed reindeer made sense to Konecny, who is director of communication at Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative. So when he found out that the customary Rudolph sweatshirts would not be available for sale this year, his inner-Santa sprang into action.
With the help of partial funding from Hancock-Wood, Konecny arranged for sweatshirts to be printed with enlarged pictures of this year's Rudolph cancellation stamp.
"We're all for it," he said of sharing the holiday spirit through the sweatshirts.
On Thursday, Konecny dropped off about 70 shirts at the post office.
The sweatshirts will be sold for $20 or $22, depending on the size, Lamb said.
The reindeer shirts are as popular as the cancellation stamp for some postal customers, she said.
"You see a lot of them come in with them from years ago," Lamb said. "I've got one on myself."
The postmaster also said the tiny post office has been swamped with offers from volunteers to handle the Rudolph cancellations.
"We've had a lot of people volunteer," she said. "I think we are pretty well set."

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