A Howard University Student Featured In Children’s Christmas Book

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When she was four years-old, Howard University student Sydney Hayes was featured in a Children's Christmas book written by her surrogate Grandfather. The Xlibris Publishing Company just published the book.

The book, “A Christmas Friend," tells the story of Sydney Hayes, who befriends Santa Claus when he fell off a roof while delivering presents to the Hayes house. The next year, Santa needed someone to join him and his reindeer on a sleigh trip to the “North Land” to fulfill the “Christmas wish” of Mikea Tarasko, a four-year-old Russian girl who wrote a letter to Santa. Mikea lived in a weather station in the cold, desolate North Land with her parents, a dog and a donkey. In the letter, the little girl explained that she was lonely because she had no playmates so, for this Christmas, instead of presents, she wanted to spend one evening playing with a girl her age who could become her friend. Sydney volunteered to go with Santa and his reindeer to the North Land to fulfill Mikea's wish. The book narrates Sydney's travel with Santa and his "talking reindeer" to visit Mikea. During their visit, Sydney and Mikea became "friends for life."

Sydney was born at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. She graduated from the Coronodo High School in Coronodo, California. She spent her junior year in France as a foreign exchange student. Sydney is a sophomore at Howard University majoring in pre-medicine.

Sydney's Father, CWO3 Edward M. Hayes, is a career Marine currently assigned as the Band Officer for the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Band in Camp Pendleton, California. Sydney's Mother, Selina, is the Director of International Business Development of SRA International; she lives in Stuttgart, Germany with Sydney's brother and sister.

Selina was an Australian foreign exchange student. The Author and his Wife were the host family for Selina in Independence, Missouri. Selina - and later her Husband and children - became part of the Author's extended family. The story was written for Sydney's fourth Christmas. When the Author reached his 83rd birthday, he decided to publish the Book.

The Author is a retired Kansas City, Missouri trial lawyer.

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William Turner
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