This is an unabashed plea to Spokane’s big businesses to help The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund meet its goal, to raise enough money to help our city’s poor people enjoy Christmas.
“We’re right up against it,” said Ken Trent, executive director of the Volunteers of America and the Christmas Bureau’s chief director.
In the next day or two, a decision will be made about whether The Spokesman-Review Christmas Bureau can stay open, Trent said.
We are more than halfway to reaching the fund’s $380,000 goal. Monday’s gifts of $16,596.80 brings the year-to-date total to $205,589.80.
Still, that leaves $174,000 to collect by Friday, when the bureau is scheduled to close. It will close sooner if there isn’t enough money.
About $30,000 in food vouchers is given out every day, “and, we’re running out of toys,” Trent said. “We’ll have to buy more.”
But more toys cannot be bought if more money isn’t received soon.
“At the rate we’re going, we won’t be able to stay open,” Trent said. “And that means a lot of kids are not going to have a good Christmas - a lot won’t have any Christmas.
“If there isn’t a major difference in money in the next few days, we’ll be right up against it.”
Please don’t let that happen.
This is why we ask large businesses that have generously contributed in the past to reconsider their reasons for not giving the last few years.
While individual giving has increased in recent years, corporate giving has dropped.
It takes both to make something as large as the Christmas Fund work. Individuals, families and small companies cannot do it alone.
The Christmas Fund needs big bucks that can only come from big business.
Over the past 50 years, the Christmas Fund has earned a reputation for honesty, sincerity, good business. The newspaper sponsors the fund, but it turns all the money over to the three charities that administer the Christmas Bureau: the Volunteers of America, the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities.
Nothing is kept out for overhead expenses.
Every cent goes for its intended cause.
Thousands of families - and most importantly, thousands of children - are helped through the Christmas Fund.
Each family receives a food voucher to help pay for Christmas dinner and a toy for each child who is 18 or younger. That’s not a lot of help, but it’s all some people will have for Christmas.
Mr. Bank President, Ms. CEO of Company X, won’t you please write a generous check to the Christmas Fund so no child will have to go without this Christmas?
The management and tenants of the Fernwell Officeplex, 505 W. Riverside, answered the plea for help with their combined gift of $2,940, and Spokesman-Review employees collected $2,739.12.
For the past few years, Fernwell managers have contributed to the Christmas Fund rather than buy gifts for tenants. In an unsigned letter, came this message: “This year our tenants have, to our delight, upped the ante! They made individual contributions which we agreed to match dollar for dollar. All of us at The Fernwell Building are thankful for all we have and are pleased to share with those less fortunate.”
The Fernwell Friends are New Dawn Books, WhiteRunkle Associates, Larry D. Gustafson, P.S., Etter, McMahon & Lamberson, P.S., Fernwell Officeplex, Fernwell Building and Finer & Pugsley, P.S.
The S-R Feature’s Department sponsored a white elephant, sale which attracted employees building-wide. Some people anted up extra money for their purchases to help sweeten the pot and some simply gave money.
Employees of The Principal Financial Group, Spokane Pension Center, 316 W. Boone, contributed $908, half from employees who participated in a “Comfort for Comfort” program, wrote Judy DeBord, director. They paid to wear casual clothes for three weeks in December to “experience comfort as they went about their daily routines.” The company matched their donations.
A $900 gift was anonymously donated “to honor our Lord, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate, in the names of our beautiful grandchildren: Michael, Nina, Branden, Trevor, Brian, Danny, Julia, Lance and Nicole.”
“Ho, Ho Ho!!” wrote Larry F. Dilley, president of Western Soap & Sanitary Supply, 103 E. Sprague, with the $500 donation made by the owner and employees. They elected to give to Spokane’s poor children rather than exchange gifts among themselves.
Greg Green, president of Tel-west Communications Inc., 422 W. Riverside, sent $500 “to help ensure that area children experience the wonder and delight of the holiday season.” The gift was made in the name of all Tel-West customers.
Ed and Colleen Van Vliet also gave $500, as did Industrial Westing Co. Inc., 1203 N. Greene. Gloria Hedlund, 4111 N. Ella Road and the Thompsons, 5018 E. Glennaire Drive, each gave $300. An anonymous donor gave $259.
Gifts of $250 came from Fitzpatrick & Culbertson, P.S.; Mr. and Mrs. George C. Nichols, 1504 E. Pinecrest Road, in memory of Jerry Camp; and an anonymous donor, who wrote:
“We hope and pray the Christmas spirit and the generosity of Spokane’s citizens will result in achieving the goal of $380,000. It has been our pleasure to participate in this wonderful effort to help those less fortunate for over a quarter of a century.”
Drs. D. Scott Redman, Arnold G. Peterson, Eric J. Bowton and Russell Oakley of Inland Orthopedics, 12 E. Fifth, gave $200, as did Matt Phillipson, 617 S. Grove Road. Also, an anonymous donor who had already contributed, donated another $200.
The staff of the Havermale Alternative Center sent $185 “to brighten the holidays for some needy families in Spokane.”
Lewis and Clark High School’s two classes of Introduction to Marketing/ DECCA class gave $150. Of that, 10 students earned $50 from the South Side Shopko, helping senior citizens Christmas shop, said teacher Chantal Czarapata. The rest was a portion of the profits from Enchanted Lights, a company the second class formed to sell candles.
Others giving $150 were Clayton and Joann Zinkgraf in memory of Todd Folsom; Genevieve Warren, 2229 S. Forest Estates Drive; Dr. John E. Obde, 3233 W. Indian Trail Road; and an anonymous donor.
Gifts of $100 came from Ed and JoAnn Brown, Veradale; Lisa and Ron Hall, Cheney; M. and A. Betow, 3009 W. Mark Court; J. Paul and Sharma Shields, 5015 S. Regal, who prioritized her list of things to do: “Cards - later; cookies - later; outdoor Lights - later, but soon; wrapping - later; out-of-town packages - one left to do; Christmas Fund Check - NOW. Sounds normal to me about this time of year. Thanks for helping me out every year (to get organized).”
Half of the $100 donation from Jean A. Toone, coordinator of the Stanek House Artists at 32nd and Regal, was “for the last 50 positive articles (the newspaper) ran and also for the next 50.”
Other $100 contributions came from Mrs. John DuBois, 620 W. Seventh; Dr. and Mrs. W.G. Lindquist, 12735 E. Apache Pass Road; Bruce Calkins, 705 W. Dalton; Erma Cummings, 3326 E. 16th, and her daughters, Betty Simmons and Elaine Zehms; the Medical Support Department of the Guardian Insurance Co.; the Covenant Women Ministries, First Covenant Church, 212 S. Division.
Darlene M. Johnson, 2410 E. 45th, gave $100 “for my parents, Bud and Helen Johnson, for the love and guidance they have given me. They always made Christmas special for us.”
Others making $100 gifts were Richard and Anna Jessen, 2633 W. Everett; Roseline Rogers, 1508 E. Empire; Floyd D. Connor, 3818 N. Atlantic, “in memory of Josephine, who won’t be with us this Christmas”; Barbara Walter, 3722 S. Ridgeview, in honor of her parents Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Gudgel, who asked their Christmas gift this year be given to charity.
“There is no better time than Christmas to enjoy the wonders of nature, to share with others our abundance and to celebrate the presence of all people of God in this world,” wrote Wilma Cromer of Plymouth Church’s Lois Guild, with the group’s $100 donation.
There were five anonymous donations of $100, including one from Odessa, made “in loving memory of Frank and Pauline Groh and Lydia Scrupps.”