He was best-known as “Secret Santa” where he would walk up to complete strangers and hand them money, but Larry Stewart was just a wonderful human being and a serial philanthropist to those in need.
After poor beginnings, Stewart — from 1979 through 2006 — made a practice of anonymously handing out small amounts of cash, typically in the form of hundred-dollar bills, to needy people. Others have followed his lead even today across the country.
Stewart said he gave money directly to people so they wouldn’t have to “beg for, get in line for, or apply for” it. The total amount he gave away is estimated to be $1.3 million until his death in 2007 at the age of 58.
In his honor, sports talker KCSP (610 AM) is hosting its annual “Larry Stewart Memorial Radio Telethon” to benefit the Salvation Army’s Children’s Center for 12 full hours.
The telethon runs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Crown Center and raised more than $200,000 last year.
On the “Fescoe in the Morning” show featuring Bob Fescoe the Entercom station had raised $33,000 after the first three hours. Other hosts participating during the day will be Josh Klingler, Danny Parkins, Carrington Harrison, Josh Vernier, Jay Binkley and Jayice Pearson. The Radiothon is sponsored by Wholesale Batteries.
Folks wishing to donate can call 816.842.KIDS or go to Crown Center, 2405 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64108.