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Christmas Fund 1997 The Onion Makes Sweet Contribution Restaurant Staff Donates $7,000

Sun., Dec. 14, 1997

Hungry for a hamburger?

Go to one of The Onion restaurants. It would be nice to support them - the owner and employees - who so faithfully and generously support The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund each year.

Larry Brown, president of Onions Inc., brought in a check for $7,000 (!) with this letter:

“We at the Onion Restaurants have been saving all year, through a payroll deduction plan, to be able to make someone’s Christmas a little merrier.

“We feel so fortunate to be able to share and to make a contribution to the lives of so many of Spokane’s less-advantaged children.

“It is nice to slow down a little and to realize that we really can make a difference.”

How wonderful it is for the employees to actually have money deducted from their paychecks to help support the Christmas Fund. For them to think about helping people at Christmastime with every paycheck boggles my mind. Especially in January when so many people are grousing about how much Christmas cost them, or July when it’s hotter than a firecracker - who wants to think about Christmas then?

Those folks at The Onion, that’s who.

Their contribution helped bring Saturday’s total of gifts to $13,537. So far this year, we’ve raised $172,225.48 against the goal of $425,000.

Isn’t that incredible?

But, lest we let our guard down, there’s still $252,775 to go. However, if I were a betting gal (which I’m not), I’d wager we’ll make it.

This is what your Christmas Fund money buys:

A toy for every child in every low-income family that applies for help at the Christmas Bureau.

Food vouchers for each family to help with Christmas groceries. The amounts vary from $20 to $50, depending on how many people are in the family.

A sack of hard candy for each family.

That may not seem like much, but multiply those gifts thousands of times over, and you can see it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for them - $425,000 to be exact.

This is how your gift money is used:

To pay for the toys, food vouchers, candy.

That’s all.

There are no other costs. There’s no building to rent for the Christmas Bureau because it’s donated. There are no salaries to pay, because the work is done by volunteers.

Every cent buys the toys and pays for the vouchers and candy.

And not just any toy. They’re on a par with what most children will find under the Christmas tree this year.

The toys are bought in bulk when the buys are best all year long. Any money left over from the Christmas Fund drives is used as seed money to buy the toys for the following year.

Because the Christmas Fund buys in large quantities, its money goes so much further than it would on an individual basis. There’s power in numbers.

And, your gift is tax-deductible because the newspaper only collects the money. All the money is given to the nonprofit agencies of Catholic Charities and Volunteers of America whose workers operate the Christmas Bureau with those from the Salvation Army.

Other Christmas Fund gifts on Friday came from:

Safeway Supply Inc., 1507 E. Sprague, gave $1,000 rather than mail Christmas cards and gifts, according to a letter from Patrick M. Thomas, president.

“We know that cards and gifts are soon forgotten but the feeling of warmth received from helping others lasts a lifetime.

“We would like to thank the community of Spokane for their support this year and all of us at Safeway Supply, Inc., wish everyone a Happy Holiday and a prosperous New Year.”

R. Pearson gave $1,000; Loretha Hitchcock, 250 N. Raymond Blvd., gave $300. Gifts of $250 came from Dr. Howard Lawrence and his staff at Veterinary Referral Services, 21 E. Mission; and Dick, Connie and Jessica Branch, 6503 W. Kitsap Drive, who wrote:

“Because we have been so blessed and so many are in need of help, we want to give back to our community. I am also impressed that none of the money goes for administrative costs.”

Contributions of $100 came from Roger Gordon of Alternative Financial, 1715 N. Atlantic; Maury Twomey, retired circulation manager of The Spokesman-Review, from Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Helen Sederstrom, 1901 E. Rockwood Blvd., “in memory of family members Leslie W. and Helen G. Sederstrom.”

Other gifts of $100 came from Madolyn Sheely, 2929 S. Waterford Drive; R.J. and Margaret Clizbe, 2141 S. Forest Estates Drive; Evilena Cozzetto, 1200 W. Walton; Joan and D.W. Menzies, 1812 W. Riverside; and Robert Goldsworthy, 1224 W. Riverside.

Jack and Verla Rigsby, 10530 Overview Drive, gave $100, as did Howard and Muriel Davis, 3530 Northwest Blvd.; David and Mary Larsen, 11720 N. Lincoln Court; Harold, Heidi, Katie, Ben, Jacob and Ethan Clarke, 7209 N. Fotheringham; and Bob and Dorothy Skindlov, 2304 E. Cedarwood Court, who wrote: “We are so grateful for all those who are showing so much love and concern for others by giving to the fund, and to The Spokesman-Review for making this wonderful community project possible year after year.”

The Steelhead Specialty Minerals, Rock Pointe Corporate Center, sent $100 from the company and Jeannie Boen, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Menner, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace McGregor

The Covenant Women Ministries sent $100, as did six anonymous donors, including one signed, “From my kitties and me.”

There was an anonymous gift of $75, and the Kurtis Willoughby family, Medical Lake, sent $67.

, DataTimes

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