The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund is thisclose to making its $400,000 goal. There’s little doubt that by Christmas Day, the goal will have been reached - and maybe topped.
Weekend gifts of $42,480.11 boosted the fund total to $389,206.05.
It’s caring businesses, such as Medical Service Corp. of Eastern Washington, that make the Christmas Fund work year after year.
MSC has been a stalwart supporter of the Christmas Fund for decades. In years past, when the fund’s prospects might look grim, an MSC representative would arrive, check in hand, and we knew things would be OK.
Now, MSC has done it again.
MSC, 3900 E. Sprague, contributed $3,000 in honor of its employees “who responded so generously to the ice storm and holiday needs in our area and who carry on this community-involvement spirit year-round,” wrote Henry F. Keaton, president and chief operating officer.
“We are fortunate to be able to give something back to the community in which we have done business since 1933,” Keaton wrote. “Part of what makes Spokane such a special place is represented by the Christmas Fund - the desire to help out our neighbors and reach out to those in need.”
Another wonderful letter was received from Motor Works Inc., 3100 N. Division, with a $2,800 donation, its second this year: “Our company distributed a generous profit sharing on Dec. 13 to all our Spokane employees,” wrote Michael R. Ulrick, president.
In turn, the employees “wanted to contribute back to the Spokane community part of what they received. All our employees feel everyone should have a Christmas this year and wanted to share in the joy of giving to this worthwhile season fund-raiser.”
A contribution of $1,766 came from the staff and volunteers of Sacred Heart Medical Center. “At Sacred Heart, we are especially touched by those in our community for whom Christmas is a time when needs become more painful - for those who have no money for a holiday meal or gifts under the tree for children,” a letter read.
The unsigned letter expressed appreciation for the fund’s daily reminders “to be thankful for our blessings and mindful of those less fortunate.”
Employees of Travis Pattern & Foundry Inc., 1413 E. Hawthorne, donated $635 with an additional $200 check from GMP Local 289, which was matched by the employer for a total of $1,670.
Bill’s Auto Dismantlers, 4203 E. Weile, matched the money contributed by customers, employees and A-Star Distributing in the amount of $1,144. Wrote Marlene Hamilton, spokeswoman: “Thanks everyone for your contributions.”
In the name of The Physicians Clinic, 800 S. McClellan, physicians and staff members donated $1,020.
Beryle & Vern Johnson, 1015 W. 31st, donated $1,000 with this touching note: “Eighty years ago, I was one of a family with seven children. At Christmas time, the younger ones of the family could hardly wait for Christmas Eve, for that was the time we were always visited by our friends (the Salvation Army, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and our church) who always had something to cheer us up, a stocking filled for each of us. Beryle and I wish to donate to the Christmas Fund $1,000 in memory of my brothers and sisters who would appreciate our participation in a Merry Christmas for the disadvantaged children of Spokane.”
Other $1,000 gifts included a combination of two $500 checks from Telect and Judi Williams, both of Liberty Lake; and Kaiser Aluminum, 10220 N. Nevada, with a letter from Susan Ashe, Northwest public affairs manager: “On behalf of Tom Franklin, John Walker and the employees of Kaiser Aluminum’s Mead and Trentwood operations, it is our sincere pleasure to enclose $1,000 for the 1996 Christmas Fund. We hope this gift will benefit those Spokane-area families in need this season.”
An anonymous donor gave $750, with a note: “We are fortunate to be able to share with those less fortunate.”
Employees and management of a law firm requesting anonymity gave $710 rather than exchange cards with one another. “This new tradition seems substantially more worthwhile,” a spokesman wrote.
Employees of Anderson, Peretti and Co., certified public accountants, gave $680. Gifts of $500 came from Laborers’ Local 238, 1330 N. Calispel; Mark Sonderen, 8601 N. Kelly; and two anonymous donors.
Residents of Homan Gardens Retirement Apartments, 12912 E. 12th, donated $500 from their volunteer commissary, wrote Pauline Courteau, the group’s spokeswoman. “We hope to donate every year from now on.”
Employees at Inland Pacific Stamps and Marking Products, 215 W. Second, donated $400. Dale DuPree, president of The Pella Window Store, 152 S. Jefferson, and his employees donated $306, with: “We know many families will benefit from your efforts, and we appreciate your dedication year after year.”
Gifts of $300 came from the Whitworth Presbyterian Growth Group; Debra Shochlelf, on behalf of Jeff Sjostrom and the employees of Marble Cor-Tempest Stone, 4114 E. Wellesley; Bob and Karen Muzzy, Coeur d’ Alene; “in honor of the fine employees at Sweet Swiss (5013 W. Dorset): Tami, Pam and Miya; Barry and Susan Halpern”; Michael and Chris Fry, 11407 E. 17th; and one anonymous donor.
The staff of Family Health Center of Spokane, 910 W. Fifth, gave $285. Porter Chiropractic Center, 9231 E. Montgomery, gave $267.26 from its Patient Appreciation Day fundraiser; and employees and customers of the Broadway Truck Stop gave $255.
Spokane Mortgage Lenders Association gave $250, with a letter from Loretta Cael, president: “As a part of this great community, we share the spirit of giving with those less fortunate than ourselves. We support the ideals of the Christmas Fund that a portion of what we receive from working in Spokane and the surrounding area be returned as a charitable blessing.”
Other $250 gifts came from Bob and Liz Burroughs, 3111 S. High Drive; Dr. Howard Lawrence and his staff at Veterinary Referral Services, 21 E. Mission; Bobbie and Rick Robinson, Rosalia, with a note saying giving to charities at Christmas has become a family tradition; and three anonymous donors, one given “in honor of our grandchildren Katie, Emily and McKenzie, who hope all children everywhere will have a joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year.”
Chris and Donna Calone, 1704 W. Courtland, gave $200, and their daughter gave $10. Donations of $200 were received from James and Marie McGough, 3815 S. Lee; the Johnstones, 1004 W. Ballard; and Philip Georgariou, 8315 N. Cotton.
Inland Northwest Distributing, Spokane, gave $200, as did George, Nancy, Lee, Mardi and Eva Kendall “in memory of our mother Myrtle Kendall, who always gave to the Christmas Fund. This is our 17th year in donating since she passed away.”; Evans-Hall Inc., Cheney; the staff of Spokane Skills Center, 4141 N. Regal; Coral Seibel, Odessa, who gave “in the names of my grandchildren, Judy, Shelly, Barrett and Rusty, and my two daughters, Lorraine and Cheryl, and my son, Gary.”
Diane and Einar Larson, Almira, gave $200, as did Les and Clara Randall, 136 E. Rockwood, in memory of his mother, Roza Randall, a single mom who put her four children through college with no financial aid from anyone. She never finished the eighth grade.
There were eight anonymous donations of $200, one in memory of Joseph Peirone, “a wonderful husband and father who always supported the Christmas Fund.”
The staff of Havermale Alternative Center gave $170. Gifts of $150 came from Clayton Zinkgraf, 12912 Maxwell, in memory of Todd Folsom who was killed on May 17, 1992; Bill Harris, 1421 N. Laura Road; C.R. and Diana Wilhite of Safeguard, 11106 E. 36th; employees of the PayLess Drug Store in Shadle Center.
Margaret Heller, 1502 S. Cox, gave $150, as did Miller Land and Livestock, Lamont, in memory of Roland Justis; residents of the Royal Plaza Retirement Center, 302 E. Wedgewood; the Cheney Kiwanis Club; and the Prosperity Club, Spokane, in memory of members Gordon Bass, Frank Lund and Paul Lydig, all of whom died last year.
Bill and Chick Davis, Spokane, gave $140 on behalf of their seven grandchildren, Jessica, Katie, Scott, Christie, Jeff, Megan and Tanner, with a note saying they are sharing $20 of the children’s Christmas gifts with other children through the Christmas Fund. “We will share this information with each grandchild on Christmas morning,” the Davises wrote.
Giving $135 were John and Mary Ann Childs, 11817 N. Highwood. Extension office employees of Washington State University at Spokane, gave $133. Bemiss Elementary staff members gave $122 “in memory of our colleague and friend, Mary Lou Anthony. She was a wonderful friend and teacher, and always put the children first.”
Stephen and Theresa Lamp, 3241 W. Holyoke, gave $120; Michael and Rose Lemberger, 3909 E. Myrtle, donated $111.
Eric, Shelley, Erica and Charlie Solberg, Colbert, gave $160 with thanks to all their friends and relatives and the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital who helped save Charlie’s life after open-heart surgery, and to the children and teachers of Weippe, Idaho.
Gifts of $100 came from Spokane Valley Women of Rotary; Inland Northwest World Trade Council, Spokane; Kathy and John Weidinger, 16210 N. Mount Spokane Drive; Spokane Retired Police and Spouses Assoc.; David Gumaer, 5106 N. Allen Place; Mark Longmeier, 9 N. Post; and Emily, Megan, Manya and Bob Powell. Steve and Vick, 3908 N. Locust, gave $100 in honor of Ned and Buzz Fadeley and Chuck and Rob Canfield.
The Wilhites gave $100 “in honor of our daughter, Shannon Wilhite, who is spending the holidays working in a group home because the kids will not have any family with them during this time of family gatherings,” wrote Diana Wilhite. “This will be the first time she will not be home with family, but her parents are proud of her giving and caring heart.”
Other $100 donations came from Harold Granlund, 2321 W. Second; Gregory Schuster, 4512 S. Helena; Philip and Cheryl Tagariello, Spokane; Professional Adjusters Inc., Coeur d’Alene, “on behalf of Jerry McMackin and Chuck McCulloch of (Spokane’s) Northwest Appraisal Services”; Hilary and Brady Hargrove, 8009 E. Gunning Drive; Ronald and Linda Walter, Spokane; Jim, Julie and Mike Lehr, 110 W. Rolland.
Uma Jayaran, Pullman, also gave $100, as did Leon and Bobbee Anderson, 107 E. Holland; Jaclyn Strong, Deer Park; Peter and Charlotte Yocom, Cheney; Mary Ellen Thompson, Veradale, “in memory of Henry Thompson, husband, father, grandfather and friend.”
The Sorelle Club, a group of Hillyard women who have been meeting for lunch for 50 years, gave $100, as did Margaret Hurley and Leonard Peterson, 730 E. Boone; James and Susan Lee, 6204 N. Oxford Drive, who shared her bonus with others; Areta Holmes, 3604 W. Providence; Jerry and Judy Altig, Colbert; Nancy McGregor, 1809 E. Rockwood Blvd.; and Bryan and Valerie Fuhs, 3509 S. Chelsea Court.
Eugene and Selma Young, 4004 N. Lincoln, gave $100, along with Phyllis Thompson, Spokane; Helen Snidek, Spokane; Lyle and Felicitas Rice, 1921 E. 64th; Josephine and Jerry Prophet, Liberty Lake; Pete Sherve, Northport; Frances Gaber, Deer Park, “in loving memory” of her husband Frank Gaber; Mr. and Mrs. L.A. McKay, 2204 N. Calispel; Mr. and Mrs. Donald Spear, 12003 N. Anna J. Drive; Lezlie Finet and Brian Nelson, Liberty Lake; Greg and Nancy Perkins, 10506 E. Holman Road; the H.J. Burns Company Inc., Spokane.
Also giving $100 was Art Sturdevant, Cheney, “in memory of my beautiful wife of 34 years. Suzanne loved little children, they were the sparkle of her life.” There were 11 anonymous donations of $100, including one given “in memory of Nana, who loved Christmas and wanted all children to believe in the spirit of Santa Claus.”