Santa Helps Blue Hippo Fundraise For Progeria


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Zoey Penny, her brothers and father with longtime Terry’s Santa, John McClellan.

With the closing of Terry’s Family Pharmacy, Blue Hippo reached out to former owner Les Gwyn-Williams and connected with John McClellan, the longtime Santa at Terry’s, and they agreed to come to Blue Hippo this year. Families met with Santa and had their photo professionally taken, which the coffee shop emailed and printed for the families. Blue Hippo asked only for a $20 donation per family, which was donated to Team Zoey and the Progeria Research Foundation, which are raising funds for research into the rapid aging disease progeria. Verona resident Zoey Penny was diagnosed with progeria as a toddler.

Many of the families who came by had been going to Terry’s to meet Santa for many years, and were very excited to see him again. Gwyn-Williams and many of his former employees gathered at Blue Hippo to help support Santa and the fundraiser.

“Overall it was a great community experience,” says Monica Cleary, the owner of Blue Hippo. “We raised $540 for Team Zoey and Progeria Research. Zoey and her family came by on the final day to meet Santa as well.”

Blue Hippo owner Monica Cleary with Zoey, Santa and former Terry’s owner Les Gwyn-Williams.

Photos courtesy John McClellan. Used by permission.

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