Santa makes special trip for family of eight |

Santa makes special trip for family of eight

Robyn Moormeister

A handful of grocery store employees pooled their money and holiday spirits to bring Santa and a bag stuffed with gifts to a cash-strapped Carson City family.

Ron and Erin Schilling and their six kids were not planning on an elaborate Christmas this year, with only two presents under the tree and not enough money left over at the end of the month for the usual Christmas dinner spread.

Neighbor Marion Callison stopped by Tuesday afternoon to drop off a movie for the kids, and stopped short when Erin Schilling told her Santa wasn’t visiting this year.

“I just couldn’t leave and say ‘Oh well, too bad,'” Callison said. “That’s not what Christmas is to me.”

She called her son, Robert, a grocery checker at Scolari’s in Gardnerville, to ask for help.

He said he’d see what he could do.

Scolari’s employees and customers managed to throw together $70 in cash, a $50 Scolari’s gift certificate, a $50 certificate to Best Buy, a Christmas turkey and all the fixings for the family.

Just by chance, grocery checker Kurk Wilson used to live in North Pole, Alaska, and is the proud owner of a Santa suit.

Wilson swung by Wal-Mart to by a bunch of plush toys and clothes for the kids, rushed home to put on the suit, and threw the gifts into his big red Santa bag on top of the turkey.

Within an hour, Santa – red suit and all – was at the Schillings’ door, handing out gifts for all the children and a Christmas dinner.

“You should have seen the look on the kids’ faces,” Wilson said. “That’s what Christmas is about.”

Erin Schilling said it took a while for her family to get over the surprise.

She said every one of her kids will get several presents and full stomachs Christmas night.

“It was really neat,” she said. “None of us expected it. It was so nice.”

Contact reporter Robyn Moormeister at or 881-1217.