Holiday helpers collect for charity with a “Bah! Humbug!”

Holiday helpers collect for charity with a “Bah! Humbug!”

The annual event based on A Christmas Carol is starting again next week in Langley.

Langley businesses are about to receive a visit from a famous Victorian miser and his put-upon clerk, all in the name of raising funds for worthy causes.

Jacob Marley, famously of the Marley and Scrooge counting house, will drag clerk Bob Cratchit along on a tour of local companies in an annual Christmas tradition.

Wayne Kuyer and Kyle Murray of Kuyer and Associated are both charted accountants who take on the roles, respectively, of Marley and Cratchit from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

“It’s a tradition to a lot of businesses,” said Kuyer. “They enjoy participating in the event.”

They play up demands for “payment” and receive cheques for the charities in exchange.

“We only get intimidated when they ask us if we’re going to sing,” Kuyer said.

“Wayne kind of leads the way,” said Murray. It was easy to fall into the role of clerk thanks to his relative newcomer status at Kuyer and Associates.

Both of them enjoy the annual effort, particularly helping the charities.

“That’s why we do it,” said Kuyer. “There’s a recognition that we’re pretty fortunate in our day to day lives.”

They want to help those who aren’t so fortunate, he said.

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, but Kuyer has kept the fundraiser going.

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 the top hat and Victorian suit to go with it.

Typically, they’ve raised about $20,000 annually in the last few years, with the proceeds going to local and B.C. charities such as the Langley Christmas Bureau and the Province Empty Stocking Fund.

If they have a particularly good year this year, the duo might pass $300,000 total raised since 1996, when the charity first began.

READ MORE: Langley’s Marley and Cratchitt bring spirit of Christmas giving to life

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mclaxton@langleyadvance.com

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