Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Jan 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Economy kills Santa rally

EconomykillssantarallyAn attempt to break a world record is stifled by the economy, but that won’t stop Virgil Robinson

This holiday season, Santa Cruz’s Virgil Robinson had hoped to fill shopping malls across America with 100,000 Santa Clauses.

The plan was to break the Guinness Book of World Records’ “largest gathering of Santa Clauses” that was set last year in Derry City, Northern Ireland, where 12,965 people congregated in a jolly mass of red and white. Robinson spent the past two and a half months planning the Dec. 20 event, teaming up with major retail property owners to host and market the gathering. His vision was primarily for a massive Santa turn-out in the Bay Area, but malls across the country were geared up for participation. The feat seemed achievable enough until sponsors began pulling out over Thanksgiving weekend—a bittersweet holiday for the enthused Robinson.

The malls withdrew first, soon followed by the Santa suit manufacturers who had promised discounts to participants. They blamed it on the economy. Nearly a week after receiving the news, Robinson is still distraught over canceling the event but doesn’t blame the sponsors for bearing the brunt of brutal economic times.

“I’ve been agonizing over what has happened,” he says. “When we started planning the event we didn’t realize the economy was going to take this spin. Maybe the universe is saying this isn’t the time.”

Luckily for Robinson, there’s always next year. He feels that this missed opportunity to victoriously claim the world record for largest Santa gathering is an opportunity in itself. “We didn’t have a sufficient amount of time to make things happen anyway,” he says. “Now we have a whole year!” He expects the economy will be more nurturing to a record-breaking congregation of cheer this time next year.

This relentlessly positive attitude is what motivated Robinson to organize the Santa gathering, and many others like it, as part of the Possibility Advocate Society, a networking organization he founded earlier this year.

“What I’m trying to do is get people out of their comfort zone and do something fun,” he says. “We often stop ourselves from doing something because it precedes danger or because people will look at us funny, and that stops a lot of creativity. I do these events to say to members of our group, ‘Laugh at yourself a little bit, it’s okay.’”

The event wasn’t about religion, nor was it about Christmas; it was about “encouraging bold action” – the motto of the Possibility Advocate Society.

The Society began with a T-shirt. While working through a strategy plan for his job, Robinson, who is a “Candidate Advocate” by trade (he provides career-coaching to VPs, directors and managers), became fed up with the constant interference of devil’s advocates and his own internal critic. He felt smothered by the weight of a society that is quick to judge and discourage, and was inspired to create a counterpart: a Possibility Advocate. Largely as a joke, he made a t-shirt that had the term on the front and the definition on the back. Sporting his new shirt on Pacific Avenue, it became clear that the idea of a Possibility Advocate wasn’t just a laughing matter. The large reaction he got from passersby validated his idea that such an advocate was needed, and the Possibility Advocates Society was born.

“I would have never thought that creating a t-shirt, my single and solitary act of rebellion against my internal critic and devil’s advocate, would have lead me down this path,” he says. “Life is full of jokes.”

The Possibility Advocates Society is now an optimistic army in a full-fledged battle against the Devil’s Advocate and its cohorts, including but not limited to the Naysayer, the Dream Killer, the Pessimist, and the Hater. On the group’s website, at meetings and via “fun, silly” gatherings like the nixed Santa Claus convention, Robinson aims to “help people find ways to make things happen.” He believes the world will be a better place once ideas are honored, not shot down.

“When ideas do make it out, as far as verbalizing it to friends or relatives, there is no shortage of people who want to play devil’s advocate,” he says. “We should encourage people to think about why things are possible before they start being a critic or criticizing peoples’ ideas.”

The idea to break the world record for Santa Clauses may be on hiatus until Christmas 2009, but Robinson remains certain that it’s possible. In the meantime, he has planned other chances for the Possibility Advocates to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, including the “largest Afro-wig photo shoot” on March 28 in Santa Cruz.


Visit PossibilityAdvocateSociety.com for more information about the group, upcoming events, and local opportunities to break world records.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots