Toronto Sun columnist Mike Strobel was forever praising the "lovely and talented Sheila Chidley" during his first Variety Village Christmas Fund campaign.
Sheila compiled the weekly list of contributions to the fund and when all the counting was done, she had it nailed down to the last penny - $30,517.93.
But Sheila's contribution to the Toronto Sun predates her work with Mike. She has been a sports department assistant for about 20 years, and was an asset to the late, great George Gross, founding sports editor, who died last March.
"The Lovely and Talented Star (With Cluster) goes to the lovely and talented Ms. Sheila Chidley, without whom I'd still be counting pennies, deciphering cheques and botching names of donors. I see why George worshipped her," Mike wrote in one of his Variety columns.
Sheila, one of eight veteran employees who have taken buyouts this month, has been one of the behind the scenes staffers contributing to the well-oiled sports department.
She is a cousin of former Sun photographer Dave Chidley, a National Newspaper Award winner who worked in Toronto, Calgary and the London Free Press before laid off in 2006.
The Sun without a Chidley in the house won't be as bright for remaining colleagues.
All the best, Sheila.
Buyout names to date: (1) Lew Fournier (2) Bob McConachie (3) Kaarina Leinala (4) Sheila Chidley (5) Sarah Green (6) Melinda Kryk (7) ??? (8) ???
TSF will profile more of the eight employees taking buyouts when identified.
With Sun Media's recent track record, they will probably go quietly without a word of thanks in print.
Farewell messages for any departing Sun employees should be e-mailed to TSF.