You would think most businesses would dread a visit from the counting house of Scrooge & Marley. But having a couple of Victorian gents drop by to pick up a charity donation has been a beloved holiday tradition in Langley for almost a quarter of a century now.
Wayne Kuyer, a.k.a. Jacob Marley, and Kyle Murray, going by Bob Cratchit, will be heading out to local businesses from Dec. 10 to 17 this year, collecting for charities that serve those who need a little extra help during the Christmas season.
Both are accountants from a modern day “counting house,” the accountants firm of Kuyer & Associates.
The characters from Charles Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol expect to raise around $20,000 this year for the Langley Christmas Bureau and the Province Empty Stocking Fund.
Donating means a visit from Marley and Cratchit, who play up miser Marley’s demands for “payment” as meek Cratchit follows along.
There are about 50 donors already lined up this year, including many that have contributed for much of the 23 years the fundraiser has been in operation.
Of course, Kuyer doesn’t mind a new business asking to join.
“We certainly don’t mind if someone wants to volunteer to be harassed,” he joked. “We’d love to drop by!”
Kuyer began the fundraiser in 1996 with his late business partner Stephen de Verteuil, who portrayed Ebeneezer Scrooge.
He’d always loved A Christmas Carol, and de Verteuil had an appreciation for the Victorian era. Scrooge and Marley’s counting house also seemed to fit with their work as accountants.
De Verteuil passed away in 2002 at the age of 47, and his portrayal of Scrooge was retired, but Kuyer has kept the fundraiser going as Marley
In 2017, after several years solo, he found a new accomplice in the form of the newer accountant at his firm. Murray took the role of Bob Cratchit and has donned the top hat and Victorian suit for three years now.
Over the past 23 years, the charity has already raised $291,564 in total, and this year they expect to easily surpass the $300,000 mark.
The next goal, Kuyer and Murray say, is half a million, and although that goal may be a distant one, the charity should keep going past a quarter century.
If you want to donate, and to receive a visit from Marley and Cratchit, contact Kuyer & Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org.