ATLANTIC – Mike Magers is ready to play.
Magers is one of four candidates participating in the 2019 Scrooge Contest, in which they collect non-perishable food items or monetary donations for the Atlantic Food Pantry. Candidates receive points for food items or cash donations, and the candidate that receives the most points is named “Scrooge.” The winner serves as the Grand Marshall for Lighted Christmas Parade, and candidates have until Nov. 29 at noon to collect their items and funds and submit their points for the contest.
The idea of naming someone a “Scrooge,” comes from the story “A Christmas Carol,” in which the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, finds the true meaning of Christmas. The contest was organized by Eleanor Hoover, who passed away earlier this year. Her daughters, Lori Christianson, Jackie Sampson and Billie Hoover, stepped in to organize the contest.
Magers is probably best known for White Knuckle Driving, which is a driving education school for all ages, and he said he heard Hoover had wanted him to be a Scrooge candidate during a previous contest. While that never happened, he finally got the call this year from Sampson.
“I went to college with Billie and Jackie,” Magers said. “When Jackie called me a couple weeks ago (to ask to be a Scrooge candidate), I couldn’t say no because it is something that means something to them.”
Magers said he plans to have some fun with the contest, and is challenging Hoover’s daughters, who also happen to be candidates for Scrooge as “Team Hoover.” Other candidates include Lt. Devin Hogue from the Atlantic Police Department and April Zarbano from the Fireside Lounge.
“They’re ‘Team Hoover,’” he said. “I’m going to be ‘Team Eleanor.’”
He jokes that it takes three of them to compete against him, and says they better be ready.
“I said, ‘you girls are going to have bring your A game because I’m going to bring mine,’” he said.
Magers said he plans to contact people he’s worked with at White Knuckle Driving, but will also have donation boxes at Ultimate Lawn and Power, Casey’s West, Atlantic Motor Supply-NAPA and Plaza Azteca.
Magers is also extremely confident that he would make the best Scrooge because he has learned from the best.
“Because I’m the best Scrooge that there is possible,” he said. “I learned from last year’s Scrooge Rob Stamp. He’s trained me very well because he’s the best Scrooge.”
And he is determined to win the contest because he sees the Scrooge title as a crown-and it’s one he definitely wants to wear.
“(The Scrooge Title) is the holy grail of the crown, and I’m going to do my best to wear that crown — to wear it for Eleanor,” he said.