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  • Fairbury News staff

Geisers make holidays merrier

Harlan Geiser, right, and his son Chad play Christmas carols in Bloomington / photo provided.

A Fairbury-Cropsey High School graduate and his son are helping to make the holidays a bit brighter for some in the Twin Cities.

Harlan Geiser and his son, Chad, can be spotted at the Jewel-Osco store on Oakland Avenue in Bloomington during Giving Tuesday from 12-1 p.m. They will be raising money for the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign while playing Christmas tunes on their instruments. Harlan plays the trombone and Chad the trumpet.

The musical tradition, featuring such tunes as “Up on the Housetop” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” started in recent years as a way to beef-up fundraising efforts.

“Our first year for that was 2014 when we raised $1,616.45 and since that time, it has kind of been in the $2,000 to $3,000 range,” Harlan recalled.

Harlan has helped raise money for Salvation Army many years before they started playing instruments outside of the grocery store. A business he formerly owned got behind various charities and non-profits.

“We decided the Salvation Army was worthy of the effort and the money.”

Many of his employees were deployed to ring the bell near the kettle. In fact, Harlan’s business won the trophy for about 10 years in a row for the highest contribution from a McLean County business.

“We weren’t really in it for the recognition –we were in it to help people,” Harlan added.

While many of us have warm places to go with plenty of food, others aren’t so fortunate. This is why Harlan wants to help out.

The Geisers hope to raise over $3,000 this holiday season as they are at almost $2,000 already. This year, they did receive an anonymous donation of $520 already and another anonymous donor vowed to match the first $1,000 given by others.

Online donations will be extremely important this year as not as many individuals are expected to donate in person due to COVID-19. Anyone wishing to donate can visit

Harlan is a former Fairbury resident as his parents lived in town for many years. He said his biggest tie to Fairbury is that he married Brenda Freed, a local farm girl. He is currently a business consultant working with entrepreneurial companies to help them improve.

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