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story.lead_photo.caption Brad Montgomery listens to a rendition of "Till There Was You" sung by Susej Thompson Thursday morning after being surprised with the singing Valentine's Day telegram at work. - Photo by Gavin Lesnick

— Brad Montgomery wasn't sure why his wife had some special instructions for him as he left for work Thursday morning.

But it all became clear mid-morning when Montgomery — director of maintenance services for the Pulaski County Special School District — received a surprise singing telegram for Valentine's Day.

"I just knew I had to wear this outfit to work today and be here by 10 o'clock," Montgomery said with a smile shortly after being surprised with an in-person rendition of "Till There Was You" and a rose. "Now I know why ... It was pretty special."

Susej Thompson, program and special events coordinator for Pulaski County Youth Services, organizes the annual singing telegram service and delivers some of the 35 love songs herself, including the one for Montgomery.

Thompson said the annual program is a great fundraiser that helps support the agency's year-long efforts, which include free mentoring, tutoring and leadership development. And it's also always appreciated by the surprised recipients.

"Everybody just loves it," Thompson said. "Most of the women cry, so those are our favorite ones. The guys aren't as enthusiastic about it, but they like it and it's cute. You can tell kind of who the tough guys are because they'll make a mean face like 'Oh no, she got me!'"

Montgomery, for the record, didn't shed any tears nor make any mean faces. But, he said, he was touched by the gesture and looked forward to letting his wife know.

"First I'm going to give her a big hug and a kiss and tell her I love her," he said, "and tell her her goal or objective was accomplished. You guys totally surprised me, and it was very special."

Singing valentines' surprise recipients

Pulaski County Youth Services each year offers singing Valentine's Day telegrams.
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