BY BOB HOLT
Secret Santa Claus is alive and well, and he’s still living in Missouri.
A wealthy Secret Santa from Missouri came to town a little early this year, in particular Staten Island.
Carrying on a tradition from friend Larry Stewart, an unnamed businessman from Kansas City spent Thursday in New York and New Jersey giving away $100 bills, mainly to survivors of Hurricane Sandy. An Associated Press story on TODAY Holiday Blog reported that the man would be giving away $100,000 over the holidays.
"It's about the random acts of kindness,” said the businessman. “I'm just setting an example, and if 10 percent of the people who see me emulate what I'm doing, anybody can be a Secret Santa!" He went through Staten Island in a police motorcade with sirens on his trip.
Secret Santa came through with police officers from New York and New Jersey, along with former and current FBI agents keeping a close watch over his cash handouts, according to Sky News. Members of Santa’s security team were wearing caps marked with the word "elf." Secret Santa wore his traditional hat.
The businessman handed out $100 bills at disaster centers and Salvation Army stores during his visit.
Millionaire Larry Stewart, from a suburb of Kansas City, spent 26 years giving away $1.3 million as Secret Santa. An Associated Press story on Fox News reported that Stewart died of esophageal cancer in 2007.