Do you believe in miracles?
Monday, it looked as though The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund didn’t have a prayer of reaching its $380,000 goal. Christmas Bureau officials fretted about closing early because more money was being spent than was being donated. A dwindling toy supply couldn’t be replenished because the money wasn’t available.
Monday was a worrisome day.
Then came Tuesday’s mail. It came and came and came - until 508 pieces had been counted.
Miracles of miracles.
Tuesday’s receipts amounted to $51,581.95, which makes a year-to-date total of $257,171.75.
There’s still a ways to go, but hopefully, no one will be turned away and every needy family will get a food voucher and a present for each child.
Jerry Camp Sr., who died Dec. 1, has been a great contributing factor to the fund’s success. Every day, donations arrive in memory of the man who was characterized by a competitor as honest and sincere and whose word was like gold. A retired employee said Camp’s success was due to his devotion to his business and his treatment of customers and employees.
It seems he was a well-loved man.
The employees of Washington Trust Bank donated $5,000 in honor of Camp.
“In the spirit of Christmas and the memory of our good friend Jerry Camp Sr., we send a gift of $5,000 to the 1995 Christmas Fund,” wrote F.W. “Rick” Scammell, senior vice president, executive administration.
“We hope, as Jerry would have, that our gift will provide happiness to families in need this holiday season.”
Safeway, Inc., Metro-Spokane, contributed $4,000 on behalf of the company’s Spokane-area employees.
“We are fortunate enough to live in a community, where an organization such as The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund puts the ‘spirit’ back into the holiday season by helping out those in our area who are in need of assistance,” wrote Brian Kingsbury and Jeff Buchanan, district managers. “We strongly believe in supporting our local communities and especially during the holiday season.”
The employees and retirees of Jensen Distribution Services, 314 W. Riverside, donated $2,275 “for those less fortunate than ourselves in our community,” wrote Michael S. Jensen, president. There was an anonymous donation of $2,000.
Doctors of Northwest Orthopedic & Fracture Clinic contributed $1,500 with a letter from Dr. William A. Brownlee: “The joy of Christmas, we hope, will be even brighter for those families touched by the Christmas Fund this year.” The clinic has offices in the Sacred Heart Doctors Building, at 1414 N. Houk and 235 E. Rowan.
Kim Hotstart Manufacturing Co., 5723 E. Alki, donated $1,500 on behalf of its employees; the Ludlow Foundation, “dedicated to serving the needs of people,” gave $1,500 with this note from Patricia and Ludlow Kramer, Liberty Lake: “Having just retired in the Spokane area, we hope this will help. Warm holidays to all.”
“In the spirit of Christmas, the employees and owners of MacKay Manufacturing wish to share in the giving to those people in need at this time of year,” read an unsigned letter. Enclosed was a check for $1,726, employee donations matched by the company at 10011 E. Montgomery.
A $1,500 anonymous gift was “given in love to those who can’t give.” An anonymous family curtailed its giving to one another and donated $1,200.”
Giving gifts of $1,000 were The R.A. Pearson Co., 8120 W. Sunset Highway, Don and Flo DeFeyter, Spokane; the Spokane Construction Council, which “supports the spirit of Christmas giving for all those less fortunate in our community,” wrote Tony Destefano, president.
Another $1,000 donation came from Sarah and Bart Stevens, Hayden Lake, Idaho, in memory of their grandnephew J.D. Fish.
Employees of Washington Water Power Co.’s engineering department sent $1,000 with the message, “We share in your vision of a brighter Christmas.” The card was signed by the entire department.
An anonymous Creston farm couple sent $1,000 saying they were blessed with a good crop and a good price for their wheat this year.
Contributions of $500 came from employees of Rod’s Electric, Inc., 809 N. Helena; the Burnetts, Greenacres; The Suburbanites to “be of some help with your holiday giving program”; Harold W. Erfurth, 2103 E. Rockwood Blvd.
Other $500 gifts came from Beulah Hoye, 2929 S. Waterford, who wrote: “My husband, John Hoye, always contributed to this fund anonymously. Not me. I wish to contribute in his memory”; the Ladies of Sadir Khan Grotto; and three anonymous donations, including one made “to honor Fred and Mary Martin, who have spent their lives assisting their neighbors and complete strangers.”
The Lunds, 3724 W., Beacon, gave $400, as did Charles and Patricia MacNeill, 13116 32nd, in memory of their grandson, Kevin Scott Austin. An anonymous gift of $350 was “given as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.” Gifts of $300 came from Clay and Diane Findlay, 1207 W. Cherrywood Court; Fred and Norine Potts, 14323 E. Alki; Jaynie Hansen, 12914 E. 27th; and one anonymous donor.
Charlie and Linda Keturakat gave $250 “in loving memory of Bert Kile, Linda’s deceased father, a longtime Spokesman-Review employee and Christmas Fund supporter.” Other $250 gifts came from Dennis and Carey Fiess, Edwall; Ken and Victoria Moland, 1706 E. 62nd Court, in memory of their parents, Bill and Bonnie Barr and Vern Moland; Patty and Niles Selden, 8518 N. Weipert Drive; Jim Johnson Cement Contractors, 1005 W. Bellwood Drive; Buffalo Street Interiors Inc., 9411 Newport Highway; and Jim and Claudine Kresbach, 4904 W. Woodfield.
Gifts of $200 came from Dick and Christine Miller, 1235 E. Christmas Tree Lane; Jason, TyHa, Rachel and Chad, “the SOS Kids 4-H”; Mr. and Mrs. Norman Fredekind, 3223 S. Howard; Mr. and Mrs. David W. Crouse, Veradale; Edward Loskot, 620 N. Willow Crest Lane; Jim Pankey, Kooskia, Idaho, “in memory of Susan K. Pankey, my wife I loved so much.”
Ken and Linda Wilke, 2115 W. 44th, gave $200, as did Charles Schmeltzer, Spokane, and three anonymous donors, including one from Lind, Wash.
A group of women who work together sent $190: Kathleen and Victor Sauther, Veradale; Joyce and Rodney Siegfried, 13624 E. Redlin; Linda and Thomas Harvey, 13220 Farwell Road; Jill Theresa and William Quantrille, 3023 N. Bowdish; Teri-Ann and John Nystrom, Liberty Lake; Robin and C. Michael Wolfe, 10526 31st; Janie and Ronald Stark, Otis Orchards; Lisa and James Nixon, 11012 E. 31st; and Sheila and Carl Dahl, 13001 23rd.
Gifts of $150 came from Bob and Donna Boyd, 3311 S. Manito Blvd.; E.A. and Elaine Shaw, Tualatin, Ore.; Donald and Donna Hares, 3804 E. 28th; P.J. Thysell, 6120 N. Colton, who wrote, “I am so happy to be able to trust that the Lord will provide for me (in this unstable time in my life) as I provide joyously for others.” There was also an anonymous gift from a family “to help those in our community who find themselves in need this Christmas.”
The Johnson family (Steve, Jeanie, Greg, Tim and Eric) sent $145, which included some of what their three boys - 15, 13 and 9 - made last summer raking yards and doing odd jobs. The parents’ contribution was “in honor of the many outstanding youth of Spokane who consistently strive for excellence in their academic, artistic and musical activities - your gifts are a treasure.”
Irma Moore, 402 W. Glass, gave $125 in memory of Bea Hills, “a dear friend who made Christmas special for so many.”