December 24, 1997 in Nation/World

Christmas Fund 1997 Giving Hearts Put Love Under Every Tree

Beverly Vorpahl Staff writer

There are times when the only appropriate response to an overwhelming event is “Wow!”

That sums up how it feels to write stories about The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund and watch the response arise from such incredible, caring people who want to make sure every child has a gift to unwrap and a good meal to enjoy on Christmas Day.

On Tuesday, $39,638.63 in donations was tallied. That makes a total of $407,537.74 toward the goal of $425,000.

Do we live in an incredible community, or what?

Theresa and Steve Lamp said it so well in a letter with their gift of $170:

“When we realize how ‘Grace-full’ our lives are, we are celebrating this blessed season.”

Grace-full. I like that.

More people than ever sought help at the Christmas Bureau this year, with an average of about 840 each day, said Mike Ryan, bureau manager.

On Tuesday, the last day the bureau was open, 634 people were served.

While the figures aren’t final yet, 8,363 individuals received help at the Christmas Bureau this year, including 13,400 toys and $253,000 in food vouchers.

The employees and management of Central Pre-Mix Concrete, Central Pre-Mix Prestress, Central Pre-Mix Concrete Products and Inland Asphalt contributed $5,000 to the Christmas Fund.

“Our best holiday wishes to those who oversee this very worthwhile fund and to those whose Christmas will be a little merrier because of it,” wrote Dan Murphy, president of Central Pre-Mix Concrete.

A donation of $3,000 from National Foundation Inc., Woodland Park, Colo., was made in memory of Norman Mikalson.

The employees of Garco Construction, 4114 E. Broadway, contributed $2,655, with a note from James Welch, president: “We all appreciate your efforts to help the people in need during this holiday season.”

The staff and volunteers at Sacred Heart Medical Center contributed $2,050 for the Christmas Fund, with donations made during Sacred Heart’s annual dinner for staff and visitors.

Skip Davis, Sacred Heart CEO and president wrote: “In our daily work at the medical center, we are touched by those whose needs - social, economic, medical - are great. This gift is in the spirit of caring for all in our community who are experiencing those needs, which we know are particularly acute at this time of year.”

An anonymous gift of $2,500 was received.

A $1,584 gift of gratitude was received from everyone at L&M; Truck Sales, 4001 E. Boone, with this note: “Thanks in no small part to the people of Spokane, L&M; Truck Sales and our employees have enjoyed a prosperous and peaceful 1977. Our way to say thank you is to take up a collection among the employees and match it from company and owners funds … to help make Christmas a little better for the many people this fund helps.”

Owners of the Fernwell Building, 505 W. Riverside, followed their tradition of donating to the Christmas Fund rather than buying gifts for the building’s tenants - with the tenants’ encouragement.

A gift of $1,000 came from “Your Friends at the Fernwell: Finer & Pugsley, P.S., Fernwell Officeplex, The Fernwell Building and John and Rae Swainson.”

Following the example of Kimmel Athletic Supply and The Onion, Rings & Things, 814 W. Main, on the skywalk level, has established a voluntary payroll deduction plan “to make our Christmas Fund contribution nearly painless,” wrote Russ Nobbs.

With matching funds from the owner, $1,000 was given with a letter from Nobbs, who wrote he was hospitalized and has had a slow recovery to health. “I really appreciated the outpouring of support I felt from my staff and friends. Accidents, sudden health problems and acts of nature like last year’s ice storm remind us how fragile we all are. It helped me understand how close each of us are to the kind of hardship that brings people to the Christmas Bureau looking for help.”

There, but for the grace of God …

Lilac City Decorators, 220 E. Augusta, Ken Quimby, president, gave $750 “to help others not so fortunate to have a joyous holiday season.”

Rock City, 505 W. Riverside, gave $600, the result of a challenge issued to the employees that owners Rose and Jim Rhoades would meet their contributions, “and they responded generously.”

There was an anonymous $600 gift from Deer Park.

Gifts of $500 came from Wynn and Cynthia Pardner of Docent, 326 W. Center; Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Hessdorfer, 5823 N. Drumheller, on behalf of the children and grandchildren of Fern and Elmer Hessdorfer; Dr. Mitchell Orsi, Manito Family Dentistry, 3615 S. Grand Blvd.; and Thomas and Catherine White, 9403 E. Holman Road; and an anonymous donor.

Ed and Colleen Van Vliet, 705 W. Seventh, also gave $500, theirs in memory of Carl “Tuffy” Ellingsen, a member of the last Cougar Rose Bowl team. “We hope all good Cougars will support this year’s Christmas Fund as we have much to be grateful for,” they wrote.

A previous anonymous gift of $500 was given in memory of Ellen Kinzer.

Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Anderson, 12620 E. 15th, gave $400; the ACM Investment Club, with matching funds by Dr. and Mrs. Don Rappe, gave $358. The Krazy 8’s Family Square Dance Club gave $355. Julie Prafke, president of Humanix, 7307 N. Division, 9507 E. Sprague and in Coeur d’Alene, gave $336 as matching funds to her staff’s personal contributions.

Peter Kalivas and Susan King, Colfax, gave $300; Westview Elementary gave $266.94.

“To provide Christmas joy to others,” Rich, Carol and Scott Hendershot, 6007 W. Hopi Court, gave $250, as did James Perkins and Erika Balazs, Spokane; and Spokane Restaurant & Hospitality Association, Nine Mile Falls.

Other $250 gifts were from Bob and Mikki Folsom of R.J. Folsom Associates, in memory of Randy J. Folsom; Clayton and JoAnn Zinkgraf, in memory of Rosa Zinkgraf, and Bob, Jay and Todd Folsom; and three anonymous donors, including one who gave “in loving memory of Rose Caferro … This is our first Christmas without her and, although it will be painful for us, we know she is resting peacefully.”

Gifts of $200 came from Sheila and Kevin Masteller, 8912 N. Kensington Drive; Tom and Joanne Hunton, 721 E. Thurston; Noel and Anne Thoen, 22 Lost River Drive, Palm Desert, Calif.; Dr. Franklin and Linda Browne, 5007 S. St. Andrews Lane; Spokane Urology, P.S., 235 E. Rowan; and three anonymous donors.

The “Grace-full” Lamp family’s gift of $170 “reflects Garrett’s babysitting, Elliott’s allowance, Mom’s home business, Dad’s loose change collected all year long.” They contributed to the Christmas Fund to put a “spurt” in all our hearts.

John and Marcia Magnuson, 7701 S. Cedar, sent two checks totaling $156: “$56 to honor my wonderful third- and fourth-grade students (from Marcia) and $100 in loving memory of Ede Shaw and Bea Kienholz.”

Contributions of $150 were from Jeff, Steph, Brian and Jay Kreshel in honor of the Kreshel, Page, Wright and Jasper families; Mark Qualley, 3711 S. Latawah; Robert and Deborah Pierce, 4111 S. Woodruff Road; Gilbert and Helen Cooley, 11419 E. 19th; the Otas, 13020 E. Valleyway; and one anonymous donor “to help someone experience the spirit and magic of the holiday season.”

Leesa Braun, Greenacres, gave $125.

Tom Ross of Dunrite Roofing, 2228 E. Sharp, gave $120 in memory of Denise Darlene Ross and Darrin Allen Ross. There was an anonymous gift of $110.

“In loving memory of Jeep and Peggy Gronnebek from all of their great-grandchildren,” was the note accompanying a $100 contribution.

Other $100 contributions were from James Hundrup, 9709 N. Woodridge; Alma Templeton, 2009 E. Upriver Drive; C. William and Georgette Savitz, 4603 W. Regency Lane; Scott and Kristin Haynes, Colbert; and Bonnie and Norm Charney, 1302 E. Blackwood Lane, who “weren’t able to attend the meeting at Temple Beth Shalom when a collection was taken for the Christmas Fund. Please add our contribution as we share with each other in the joy of this holiday season.”

, DataTimes

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