FAIRFIELD — It’s hard to say how many sizes the Grinch’s heart grew Thursday. The same goes for the amount of donations in the Salvation Army red kettle next to him.
The green, furry character who grew to love Christmas attracted a fair share of attention in downtown Fairfield Thursday afternoon. Enough for one brave little boy to approach the red kettle and drop in some money. The Grinch politely thanked 5-year-old Santiago Arrazola by tickling the top of the boy’s head with his long, green, hairy fingers.
Under the mask, flourescent green tights and red suit was local attorney John Coyle, doing his part for Lawyers at the Kettle, now in its second year.
What began as a dare has turned into a lot of fun and bell ringing for some local law firms.
Prior to the Grinch, Stephen Montagna, a family law attorney with Hodson and Mullin, spent two hours on the same corner, in front of the downtown Fairfield Starbucks, dressed as Buddy the elf from the movie “Elf.”
“It’s not often you get to see an attorney dressed like this,” Montagna said.
He was joined by two paralegals, from the same firm, dressed as elves.
“I expect to be out here next year,” said Maria Lozoya, one of the paralegals. Lozoya even broke into a verse of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Often compared to sharks in jokes, Montagna and Coyle aren’t sure if they are changing people’s perception of lawyers. Regardless, they were there to have fun while raising money for Solano County residents.
“You know what they say about attorneys,” Coyle said. “The Grinch is worse.”
“We are trying to dispel the notion all attorneys are grinches,” Montagna said.
Rhoda Chandler, an attorney, organizes Lawyers at the Kettle. Most of those involved are family law attorneys and deal with people who turn to The Salvation Army for help, she said.
This is a way to give back to the community and to an organization who keeps the money in the community, she said.
More attorneys are expected to ring at the kettle between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday. Whether the Grinch will return depends on how many folks will ante up donations for the kettle.
“Its extortion,” Coyle said in jest. “The question is, ‘who’s being extorted?’ ”
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.