Local news

Christmas Bureau wraps up

The Christmas Bureau closed for the year Friday when weary volunteers loaded the last boxes of books, tarps, folding tables, chairs, leftover toys and computers into trucks headed for storage units. The bureau gave the fixings of Christmas to 30,362 people this year. On Christmas, 15,210 children will each get a toy, thanks to a generous community of newspaper readers and area professionals and business owners. Food vouchers totaling $274,385 were given to 9,296 families for a holiday dinner.

Needy people continued to line up at the bureau Friday afternoon until closing time at 2:30. Then, in a flurry of activity, volunteers loaded the children’s books in boxes, bound for Volunteers of America. They pulled the tarps off the toy room walls and dismantled the PVC pipes, unplugged the computers and coiled wires, and cut and stacked cardboard cartons for recycling. The toys that were left over will be stored for next year. By late afternoon volunteers were walking to their cars, yelling season’s greetings to each other, and “see you next year.”

But the effort is not over. The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund, which raises the money to pay these bills, is still far short of the $500,000 goal needed to pay this year’s bills. Today’s tally came to $10,139.46, which brought the Christmas Fund to $291,968.87. The newspaper will continue to take contributions until Dec. 30.

The following are the donations and donors from Thursday’s tally (online donations are indicated with an asterisk):

Midway Nissan-Chrysler-Jeep, of Post Falls, Idaho, gave $7,500. “On behalf of Joe and Donna Arrotta, their family and all the employees at Midway Nissan-Chrysler-Jeep, we would like to thank all the people involved in all the hard work for this fund and for giving us the opportunity to participate,” wrote Donna Arrotta.

Leroy and Irene Byrd and family, of Spokane, sent $600 in memory of Anetta Marie and Andrew James Byrd.

Laborers International Union of North America Local No. 238 gave $300.

Del and Ruth Mattix, of Veradale, gave $150.

Richard and Burma Williams, of Pullman, sent $100, as did the St. Andrew’s Guild, of Spokane; Nancy Stone, Keith and Nobuko Oka, Fae Bowers, Margaret Miller, and three anonymous donors, all of Spokane; and an anonymous donor, of Spokane Valley.

Richard and Lola Lile, of Spokane, donated $100 in memory of Lola’s parents, Robert and Ellen Houx. Joe and Carolyn Schauble, of Spokane, sent $100 in memory of their parents, Carl and Edna Magee, and Robert and Mary Schauble. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary No. 51, of Spokane, donated $50, as did Les Huntno, Todd and Lesley, of Liberty Lake; John and Arlene Hundahl, of Spokane; and Mary Jo Dillingham, also of Spokane.

Greg and Monica Dunn, of Spokane, sent $40 and a note: “This is our first Christmas in Spokane. We’re impressed by this fund and want to help out a bit.” Rianna Fales, of Spokane, also sent $40, in memory of her brother, Dave, who died in October.

Jack and Jan Arkills, of Spokane, donated $25 in lieu of Christmas presents to Duane and Marnene Arkills.

Jennifer Gallaway donated $24.46.*

David and Nancy Lindstrom, of Otis Orchards, Wash., gave $10.

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