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As community gives, those in need receive

Dozens of companies as well as individuals continue to make generous donations to the Christmas Fund, while at the same time thousands of needy families are getting Christmas fixings from the Christmas Bureau at the fairgrounds.

A $4,000 donation from Testcomm LLC, of Spokane, brought the day’s donations to $20,184.07. But the $144,485.45 raised so far is well short of the $485,000 goal, the amount that bureau organizers estimate is needed to pay for the toys and food vouchers given to poor people at the holiday charity.

Testcomm is among the annual donors to the Christmas Fund.

“At Testcomm, we are celebrating our 10th year in business and 10 years ago we sent our first donation to the Christmas Fund. That was a check of about $170,” wrote Tescomm manager Jerry Ensminger. “Today we are proud to present this much larger donation to share our success with members of our community. We hope our donation helps those in need and we intend to continue our support for years to come,” Ensminger continued.

The value of the food vouchers distributed at the bureau outstripped the Christmas Fund total on Tuesday. Volunteers gave vouchers to 864 needy families Tuesday, with a total value of $25,720. During the five days that the bureau has been open, nearly $150,000 in vouchers has been distributed so families can buy the makings for their holiday dinners.

Midday Tuesday, representatives from the Spokane Chiefs hockey team delivered several thousand stuffed animals to the Christmas Bureau, a collection that required five SUVs to transport.

“We had the fans toss the teddy bears onto the ice after the first goal was scored Saturday night,” explained Grant Riddle, vice president of sponsorships. “Unfortunately, the first goal was scored less than two minutes into the game.”

After the 6,600 fans threw more than 3,000 stuffed toys onto the ice, the players and about a hundred volunteers gathered them up and filled the beds of three pickup trucks. The game was stopped for more than eight minutes.

“It was the biggest teddy bear toss we’ve had in the seven years we’ve been doing it,” Riddle said.

Volunteers began sorting the stuffed toys, which included a tiger and a St. Bernard that approached life-size. They tossed teddy bears in one box, and a moose, dogs, rabbits, cats and other animals in another. Today, they will begin sending children who visit the bureau home with stuffed animals, in addition to the Christmas toys and children’s books distributed by the bureau to their parents or caregivers.

The Christmas Fund still needs generous donors to pay the bills for this holiday charity. Donations of all amounts are welcome. Donors who wish to remain anonymous should indicate their wishes on a note accompanying the check.

Following are other donors and their donations:

Teck Cominco American Inc. sent $2,000 and a note: “We thank you for providing the opportunity to help those in need at this time of year,” wrote David Godlewski, vice president for environment and public affairs.

Ken and Vicky Moland, of Valleyford, Wash., donated $600 in memory of Bill and Bonnie Barratt, Vern Moland and Veryl Moland.

Representatives from the Spokane Valley Wal-Mart toured the Christmas Bureau and donated $500.

“The size of the effort and the number of people being helped is overwhelming,” said Darren Skipper, manager of the store. Skipper relocated from a Wal-Mart in Georgia just a week ago.

“The scope of what you are doing here is awesome,” said Kellie Rogers, community involvement coordinator for the Spokane Valley Wal-Mart.

Larry and Patricia Bishop, of Coeur d’Alene, donated $500, as did Jay and Kathryn Wittenkeller, Toby’s Body & Fender, and two anonymous donors, all of Spokane.

The agents and staff of the Lupton/Markham/Franklin office of Northwestern Mutual, of Spokane, donated $480.

Walter and Ruth Cummings, of Spokane, donated $400.

The Association of Retired Avista Employees, of Spokane, donated $369.

Michael McKinnon, of Spokane, sent $350 in memory of his parents, Marge and Joe McKinnon, “who always cared.”

Leslie and Derek Yates, of Spokane, gave $300, as did the Doran family, in memory of Gilbert F. Doran.

Sandra Willcocks, of Spokane, sent $255.

Carmela Conroy, of Okinawa, Japan, donated $250 in memory of her grandparents, Forrest and Elsie Conroy and Mark and Marie Hood.

Delores and Robert Griffith, of Veradale, sent $250, as did an anonymous donor, of Spokane.

Dennis and Bonnie Hughes, of Deer Park, sent $200 and a note: “It has become such a pleasure to be able to participate in such a worthy cause. We hope this gift will help to ease the burden of these times. Thank you for letting us share in this cause.”

Mr. and Mrs. Howard Pilcher, of Spokane, donated $200, as did Harry and Donna Fuhs, and Bill Molsberry, all of Spokane; and Kay Sharp and Wayne Bass, of Liberty Lake.

Linda and Ned Barnes, of Spokane, sent $200 and a note: “We wish God’s Christmas blessings to all of you who are giving so much time to those in our community who are struggling to provide for their families. You are special.”

James and Elaine Peplinski, of Spokane, donated $200 in memory of Larry Stenson. Mike and Linda Dunford, of Spokane, gave $200 in memory of their parents. Joseph and Janice Kaley, of Chattaroy, sent $200 and a note: “Thanks to all who are helping to make Christmas a little better for those less fortunate.”

N.D. and J.E. Skaufel, of Veradale, brought $180 to the newspaper.

Dorothy Hart, of Spokane, donated $150, as did Virgil and Helen Duchow, and John and Peggy Hasstedt, all of Spokane. The Spokane Sea Hawkers, a booster club for the Seahawks football team, also sent $150.

Rhea Dow, of Spokane, sent $150 in memory of her sister, Naomi Sullivan, who died Oct. 4.

Verna Winton, of Spokane, gave $125 in memory of her husband, Marvin, “a long-time supporter of and volunteer at the Christmas Bureau.”

Robert Bauerle, of Colbert, donated $100, as did Bob and Jeanne Dault, of Newport, Wash.; Albert and Jean Pistorius, of Hayden Lake; and Dale Willis, of Post Falls.

Carrie Prentice, of Spokane, sent $100, as did Bill and Beverly Honeycutt, Gary and Linda Hargrave, Bud and Donna Pardini, J.G. and Patricia Cain, Christopher and Brittlyn Bourassa, John and Olwen Bradley, and Marian and Walter Nelson, also all of Spokane.

Jerry and Paulette Firor, of Spokane, donated $100, as did Keith and Sara Gehr, also of Spokane; Maury and Rosemary Twomey, of Round Lake, Ill.; and four anonymous donors, all of Spokane.

Irma Moore, of Spokane, gave $100 in memory of Marge Mast, “who was always so generous in sharing with others, especially the children.”

An anonymous donor sent $100 and a note: “Since moving to Spokane seven years ago, I have been contributing to this fund. It is probably one of the most useful funds that have come to my attention. Please keep up the good work in helping our community be a good place in which to live.”

Harold Wilson, of Spokane, donated $100 in memory of Sandra and Stephen Wilson. Susan Morris, of Spokane, gave $100 in memory of Jim Morris. Frances Joachim, of Mead, sent $100 in memory of her husband, Milbert. Lawrence Hickman, of Colfax, sent $100 in memory of his mom, Tillie Krause. Bill Cunz, Paul and Melanie Danette and Meghan Danette, of Spokane, sent $100 in memory of their parents and grandparents, Herb and Jeanette Cunz, “who believed in giving at Christmas and always.”

Gunhild Clegg, of Spokane, sent $100 and a note: “It’s such a pleasure to be able to return some of my childhood joy when strangers gave us a wonderful Christmas.”

William Shugg and James Clanton each donated $96.80 through PayPal.

Cleo Fasules, of Spokane, donated $75 in honor of all who work so hard to make Christmas special for those in need.

Harvey and Dorothy Lochhead, of Spokane, donated $65, as did an anonymous donor, also of Spokane.

An anonymous donor brought $56 to the newspaper. An anonymous donor, of Spokane, sent $55.

The Dantis Club, of Spokane, sent $50 and a note: “This small check is from we elderly ladies of Dantis Club. Formerly a very active civic club, we are down to 12 ladies and our dues are the only source of income. We hope this helps someone.”

Loren Gothberg, of Spokane, sent $50, as did Timothy and Marcia Dorwin, of Spokane Valley; Joy Painter, Doris and Jack Primmer, Raelee Easton, Gregory and Melodie Olsen, Michael and Sandra Povich, and Ronald Doyen, also all of Spokane; and Alan Hastings, of Deer Park.

Lloyd and Shirley Seehorn, of Rockford, Wash., gave $50 in honor of their nine grandchildren.

An anonymous donor, of Spokane, sent $50, “in honor of my daughter Colette and all other mothers who have dedicated their lives to making sure their disabled children reach their full potential and have loving, full and happy lives.”

Two anonymous donors, of Spokane, each sent $50.

Yvonne Hayes, of Spokane, sent $50 and a letter: “Giving to the Christmas Fund is the greatest gift I can give to myself. No one should have to go without at least one gift, especially children. Before I retired as an addictions counselor, I used to beg the patients to ‘buy the price of at least one drink.’ I’d match their contribution. It became a challenge among them to get as much out of me as they could. And it was always my privilege to send in a good-sized check. God bless you all for all you do for others.”

Marlene Kornmann and Ellen Howard each donated $48.25 through PayPal.

Nettie Wright, of Spokane, and Nancy Hood, of Spokane Valley, each donated $40.

Daunita Higgins, of Newport, Wash., donated $25, as did J. Helmbrecht and C. Boules, of Rathdrum, Idaho; Joann and Chester Allison, Ray and Lois Goehri, Willabelle Godfrey, and Beverly Petrovich, all of Spokane; and Gary and Cheryl Allen, of Spokane Valley.

Ron and Barbara Gibford, of Mead, donated $25 in memory of Frank Provost. An anonymous donor, of Chewelah, Wash., sent $25.

Joan Chevalier donated $23.97 through PayPal.

Marylyn and Wilson Stuckless, of Spokane, donted $20, as did Robert Small, Fr. George Morris, S.J., the Happy Snip and Stitch Sewing Club, and Konny Thompson, all of Spokane; and Helene Heuvel, of Priest River, Idaho.

Andrea Watts, of Spokane, sent $20 in memory of her daughter Jennifer Hornstra, nephew Kenny Beach, and dad, Rocky Beach


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