Posted: Dec 21, 2012 6:36 PM by Andy Koen
COLORADO SPRINGS - Thousands of people flooded into the Freedom Financial Expo Center Friday morning for the 30th Annual Bob Telmosse Christmas Giveaway. The event is local tradition started by the late businessman Bob Telmosse to help families in need during the holidays.
Each person is given free toys for their kids, food, clothing and other items, no questions asked. Organizer Carol Reinert says it's busiest year she's ever seen.
"I don't know if back in 1983 Bob really thought it would be 30 years and I think he would be over the moon," Reinert said.
She says Bob often expected and received Christmas miracles during the giveaways. Whenever it seemed like they were running low on food, clothing or toys, a rush of last minute donations would come in.
It happened again this year. Just days before the giveaway, there were only few dozen donated bicycles on-hand to give out. Then, at the last minute more than 500 bikes showed up.
"I know his spirit is here, I know that's where all the bikes and everything comes from," Reinert said.
Telmosse, owner of the Denver Furniture Warehouse and the radio station KILO-FM, started the giveaway as the result of a practical joke. At the time, an ad placed in the Gazette saying Bob would be giving away free food at his furniture store.
When crowds of people showed up, an embarrassed Bob told them to come back the next day. He then handed out groceries he'd bought overnight. Bob was so moved by the ordeal that he repeated the giveaway every year since.