Anonymous business behind 'Secret Santa' billboard to announce winner Jan. 4

zmurdock@beaufortgazette.comDecember 28, 2013 

A billboard facing U.S. 278 in Bluffton advertises a local contest sponsored by an "Secret Santa" company which plans to give a holiday prize package worth more than $10,000 to the person who responds to its website with the most creative New Year's Eve plans.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Staff photo Buy Photo

The mystery business behind a local "Secret Santa" contest will be revealed -- and a $10,000 prize package awarded to a winning contestant -- at 9 a.m. Jan. 4 at Dubois Park in Bluffton.

Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka will be there to help celebrate and accept a surprise donation from the anonymous owner to the town, according to event organizers.

The town is not contributing to the prize package, but the mayor knows the business "extremely well" and supports the campaign, said Erin Laytham Lentz of Swell New Media, a new Hilton Head Island-based marketing firm representing the mystery client. Lentz declined to comment on the size or type of the donation.

Sulka said she doesn't know any details about the prize or the donation but wanted to support local businesses.

"It's fun; every little thing like that helps Bluffton," she said. "Plus, this I'm really curious about it."

The contest began in November with a billboard advertisement at the corner of U.S. 278 and Burnt Church Road asking passersby, "What are your #NewYearsPlans?"

The sign directs those people to a website, where they can submit a response to the question, along with their name and email address, to enter the contest.

More than 500 people have answered, and the website will accept submissions through Wednesday, Lentz said.

The authors of the three most creative responses will be invited to the Jan. 4 announcement. There the local business will reveal its identity and crown a winner with Sulka, she said.

Lentz has said the business won't reveal itself before Jan. 4 "because it would ruin the contest," but she has said it is a Bluffton business "that has been around since 1986."

According to the website, contributors to the giveaway include KRA architecture; Disney Vacation Club; Sunshine Hardscape, Landscape & Nursery; Coastal States Wealth Management of Raymond James; Old Town Dispensary; Gigi's Boutique; Shaping Concepts Fitness Training Studio; and Just Dress Me.

Follow reporter Zach Murdock at

Related content:

'Secret Santa' billboard piques interest in Bluffton, Dec. 9, 2013

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