Lander University employee Tommy Tumblin, left, presented electric guitars he purchased as early Christmas gifts to Lander music students Ashley Redden, of Lake City, center, and Cameron Burke, of Lexington. Several students and members of the faculty and staff gathered to cheer the moment in the university's Johnston Commons.
Christmas has come early for two Lander University music students thanks to Lander employee Tommy Tumblin, who has earned the nickname "Tommy Claus" for his generosity in making the holiday season brighter on campus and in the Greenwood community.
He presented Fender Stratocaster electric guitars to Ashley Redden, of Lake City, and Cameron Burke, of Lexington. The students were selected to receive the guitars by fellow students and members of the faculty.
Tumblin, an employee in Lander's physical plant, paid for the two guitars out of his own pocket, and he expressed his gratitude to Fretworks! in Greenwood for selling the instruments to him at a discount.
When he's in character as Tommy Clause, Tumblin, with his family's help, spends several weeks each year collecting toys and other items, which he then gives as Christmas gifts to children in need in the Greenwood area.