There was a time not long ago when success of The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund depended on supersized contributions from big businesses and foundations.
But for one reason or another, those sources have drawn back, leaving questions about whether the Christmas Fund could continue its holiday tradition of providing toys and food vouchers to ever-growing numbers of low-income families.
Even as those huge gifts become memories, more and more Inland Northwest residents have taken up the slack in support of the Christmas Fund.
These days, a glorious amalgamation of businesses and individuals makes the Christmas Fund succeed.
Thursday’s receipts of $9,070 included a mix of business and private contributions - a typical representation. So far this year, $31,619.13 has been collected toward a goal of $425,000. There are only 20 days to collect the rest.
Members of the Spokane Construction Council gave $1,000 “to this very worthy cause, which supports the true spirit of Christmas-giving for all those less fortunate in our community,” wrote Steve Walker, president.
It’s the council’s third consecutive year as a Christmas Fund partner.
A gift of $1,000 arrived from an anonymous donor who feels “so very grateful for our many blessings. May this gift give others a merry Christmas.”
An anonymous donation of $350 also was received. Dennis Walker, 4023 N. Whitehouse, gave $300, as did Spokane Projection Service Inc. Catherine Shields, 4404 S. Andrews Lane, donated $250.
Gifts of $200 each came from Billie Moore, 4330 S. Crestline; Louis Franks, 12002 E. Valleyway, who gave “in memory of my beloved deceased wife, Vita M. Franks, and our dearest friends, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Burnside”; the Everhart family, 6935 N. Douglas; and Sharon Boyer, Veradale.
Other $200 contributions came from members of Ramona Rebekah Lodge 238; William Pemberton, 3520 W. Elmhurst; and two anonymous donors.
Judy Crabb of Cheney gave $150, and an anonymous gift of $110 also was received.
Members of the Spokane Retired Railway Mail Clerks Club, founded in 1962, have decided to disband. For 30 years, the group has contributed to the Christmas Fund. “Now that we are going out of business,” wrote secretary Bill Malone, “we went all-out and scraped together $105. Merry Christmas.”
Gifts of $100 each came from Betty Ostheller, 303 E. 14th; employees of Thompson’s Chevron at Third and Monroe; Jerry and Millie Simpson, Fruitland, Wash., “for the grandkids”; Carl Johanson, Spokane; Bruce and Virginia Whitehouse, 1104 E. 26th; Ken and Val Rector, of Rockwood Forest Estates; Melvin Dowd, 1513 Cambridge Lane; and William and Deborah Pierce, 8024 E. Gunning Drive.
Domini Sandwiches, 703 W. Sprague, also gave $100, as did Bill Bell, 12024 E. 20th, and Michael and Scherlie Devine, “in honor of our three children, Michael, Patrick and Katie, their spouses, Tami, Tana and Gary, and our two grandchildren, P.J. and Courtney. We are thankful for each of them and the blessings they bring to our lives.”
Other $100 contributions came from Mr. and Mrs. W. Newbill, Otis Orchards; T.S. Smith, Veradale; Earl Roberts, 3231 W. Boone; Mr. and Mrs. Howard Young, 823 W. Holland; James Reiter, 4056 S. Helena; and Chuck Way, 806 S. Blake, “in memory of my wife, Maxine. She would have liked to know that someone would have a little more merry Christmas than they otherwise might have had.”
Lucille Hinch, 7306 N. Standard, also gave $100, as did Clayton Durrant, 6009 N. Wiscomb, in memory of his wife, Luira; Mr. and Mrs. Donald Day, Post Falls; Jay Moynahan and Cinde Johnson, 3708 S. Custer; Frances Rudd, 1409 W. Cherrywood Court; and Mrs. H. Haberman, 223 E. Rockwood Blvd.
Mildred Garing, of the Waterford Apartments, gave $100, with this note: “My late husband and I always donated to your Christmas Fund. He passed away in June, so I would like to donate my gift to him, Bill Garing.”
Three anonymous donations of $100 each also were received.
A newspaper employee requesting anonymity gave $75, as did Frank Vecchio, 2929 S. Waterford Drive. Gifts of $50 came from Eddie Heavner, 2121 W. Fourth; Sean and Angela McMullin, 1115 S. Cedar, “in praise of God for all he gives us”; and L.M. Brocklehurst, 1418 N. Lewis Road, in memory of Myrtle Brocklehurst.
Other $50 donations came from Allan Morrison, 4127 S. Latawah; Eugenia Newman, 9816 E. Broadway; and three anonymous givers.
Judy and Gordon Landberg, 13606 E. 27th, gave $40. Angelo and Myrna Roman at the Latte ‘da Espresso, Mead, gave $35. Gifts of $30 came from Gladys and C.A. Myers, 7523 N. Valerie Court, and one anonymous donor. Gifts of $25 arrived from Margaret Hecla, 2504 W. Crown; Hattie Carroll, 6504 N. Sutherlin; Joseph and Nancy McBride; Mr. and Mrs. D.F. Barham, 11004 E. 19th, in memory of Rick Barham; the Lalondes, Veradale; and Ardyee LaBrie, 2206 W. Mission, in memory of her husband, Arnie.
Other $25 contributions arrived from Beth, Sophie and Bobby Gelhar, 4211 E. 16th; Ken and Carol Poole, 12903 E. 11th, “in memory of my father, Henry Gorle”; D. Schaefer, 3720 S. Alder Circle; D.K. Woodland, 15404 E. Second; and four anonymous donors.
Gregory Kirk, 108 S. Jefferson, gave $20, as did Anna and Dwayne Long, Reardan, Wash.; Gary Allen, 13223 E. Guthrie Drive; Linda Swain, 5915 W. Lonewolf, in memory of Terri Smeland; Robert and Anne Pate, 8620 E. Parkside Lane; and one anonymous giver.
A $15 gift came from Ruth Votava, 3411 E. Congress, and Laura and Bill Teske, Cheney.
Brenda Macarty, Greenacres, wrote that the $10 donation “is from Joe, our adopted racing greyhound. He gave up a new chew bone so a child could have a Christmas present.”
Agnes Nolden, 1100 N. Superior, also gave $10, and an anonymous giver donated $5.