Scott Martin McGovern

Scott  Martin McGovern
World Trade Center

A Secret Santa Revealed

On Christmas morning 1989, a struggling waitress and single mother living in a dreary basement flat in Staten Island woke up to find a set of Matchbox cars and a snowsuit on the doorstep for her son, accompanied only by a card that said: "To Eric. Love, Santa."

The woman, Susan Trainor, did not know who had left the presents. Everyone she knew denied having anything to do with them.

Then, in September 2001, she picked up a newspaper and saw a memorial notice for an old friend, Scott McGovern, written by his mother. "He had his silent charities," Ms. Trainor said she read from the notice. "He knew a woman with a toddler, and on Christmas Eve. . . ."

Ms. Trainor stopped reading and began to cry.

That was Scott M. McGovern to a T, said his wife, Jill McGovern. Mr. McGovern, 35, a trader at Euro Brokers in 2 World Trade Center, was always trying to figure out how to make someone happy.

Just before bedtime, Ms. McGovern said, her husband would pick up Alana, the older of their two daughters, wrap her in a blanket and walk out to the driveway of their house in Wyckoff, N.J. "Where are you going?" Ms. McGovern would ask them. Scott would whisper back, "We're going to wish on a star."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 2, 2001.

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