The Christmas Fund closed for the year on Thursday, with donations of $518,464.19. The bills for the fixings of Christmas distributed in mid-December at the Christmas Bureau will total about $500,000. That means the Christmas Fund will be able to pay the bills, and any money that’s leftover will be put into next year’s Christmas Fund.
The final bills from this year’s charity will be paid in February.
The annual charity depends entirely on generous donations from the community and with this year’s contributions, the community has given more than $10.6 million since the newspaper’s efforts began in 1945.
This year, more than 31,000 needy people were served at the holiday charity.
Donations that arrived last week included $10 from Jong Soon Wang. “Dear everyone at the Christmas Bureau: I just want to thank you for all the help over these years. Now I want to return the favor,” Wang wrote. “God has given me the gift to give, and it makes me feel good that I can help others in need. Thank you all so much.”
Any donations that arrive after the fund was closed will be reported in the newspaper at the start of next year’s Christmas Fund effort in November. Following are the final donations of this year and the donors:
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $2,000.
The Slater family, of Spokane, brought $1,077.50 to the newspaper – Jamie and Keith Slater gave $1,000, Parker donated $30, Conner gave $20, Jack gave $15, and Buddy donated $12.50.
Mike and Lorri Reilly, of Liberty Lake, donated $1,000 on behalf of the employees of Cameron-Reilly Concrete Contractors to thank them for all of their hard work throughout the year.
Bill and Janice Houk, of Spokane, gave $1,000 in memory of their granddaughter, Renae Bohman, “who lost her life on Dec. 27, 2004.”
The employees and management of Pacific Steel & Recycling, of Spokane, donated $1,000.
James and Elaine Gregerson, of Spokane, donated $1,000, as did Luke and Aria Nisco.
The employees and owners of Smith Heating & Cooling, Inc., of Spokane, sent $810 and a note: “We at Smith Heating & Cooling, Inc., are pleased to be able to donate our Christmas gift exchange fund this year. Thanks to the generosity of our owner, who doubled the amount that we raised, we are able to send $810. We at Smith Heating & Cooling, Inc., hope that this donation will be of some help in some small way.”
Kilgore Architectural Products, Inc., of Spokane, donated $750.
Mary Smith donated $509.47 through PayPal.
The Paul and Kathy Lin family, of Spokane, donated $500, as did the employees of Perfection Tire in Sandpoint.
Jeffrey Brower donated $485.20 through PayPal, as did Robert and Diane Notske.
Einar and Diane Larson, of Almira, Wash., donated $300, as did an anonymous donor, of Spokane.
The Riemcke family of Nine Mile Falls – Cal and Eileen Riemcke, Robin and Jerry Schroder, and Sandy and Mark Gardner – donated $300, as did Walter Fernau Jr., of Mead.
Robert and Maureen O’Brien, of Spokane Valley, donated $250, as did an anonymous donor, of Spokane.
Garrison and Carolyn Kurth, of Spokane, donated $200, as did Kirsten and Michael Harrington, also of Spokane, an anonymous donor, of Veradale, and an anonymous donor, of Spokane.
Jessica Delfino donated $198.75 through PayPal.
Janet Walker donated $193.90 through PayPal.
The Ortiz family, of Colbert, donated $169; Ronald and Marian Ortiz gave $100, 13-year-old Daniel saved $54 from his allowance and donated it, and 7-year-old Michele Elena wrote: “I took this $15 from my allowance to give to poor people who need it.”
Rachel Tomsha, John Scott, Catherine Adams and Betty Wilson, of Spokane and Pullman, Wash., collectively donated $110.
The volunteers at the Christmas Bureau donated $102.
Evie and Jim Johnson, of Spokane, donated $100, as did Stanley Sargent, Jim and Pat Lynass, Bruce and Debra Oscarson, Joseph and Charry Doeleman, and four anonymous donors, all of Spokane; Kenneth and Evelyn Crow, of Spokane Valley; Walter and Marjorie Bender, of Coeur d’Alene; an anonymous donor, of Otis Orchards; and an anonymous donor, of Rockford, Wash.
The crew of Perfection Tire No. 2 in Spokane donated $100. Henry Rock, of North Idaho, donated $100 on behalf of Helen Rock. An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $100 in memory of Mike Doyle, “a promising young man who lost his battle with leukemia this year.” John and Marcia Magnuson, of Spokane, gave $100 in honor of their parents, Mrs. Bea Kienholz and Dr. Richard Miller, and John and Marcia Magnuson.
Derek Freeman donated $96.80 through PayPal.
Nancy Mahoney and Gary Matthews, of Spokane, donated $80.
Wanda Freese, of Spokane, sent $75, as did Mike Yake, also of Spokane.
The employees of the Washington Trust Commercial Banking Division, of Spokane, donated $53. “The Commercial Banking Division held its 16th annual silent auction on Dec. 15. Employees in our department donate or make items to be auctioned off. At the conclusion, those who have winning bids make their checks to the charity of their choice. This year we are very pleased to be forwarding checks to 27 local charitable organizations to help brighten the holiday season,” they wrote.
Torn Retina Productions, of Spokane, donated $51.
Tom and Vickie Davis, of Spokane, donated $50, as did John and Margee Webster, and Jana and Mary, all of Spokane. D.J. and Carole Heinen, also of Spokane, gave $50 in thanks “for their wonderful family and many friends.”
Darrell and Betty Howry, of Spokane Valley, donated $50 in honor of their grandchildren and their life partners: Devin, Stephanie, Kylee and Richard, Tyanne, Curtis and Chelsea, Travis and Jessica, and Kelsey.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, sent $50 in memory of their loved ones “now with Jesus.” An anonymous donor, of Mead, sent $50.
An anonymous donor gave $48.25 through PayPal.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $40.
Klaus Kuehl, of Spokane, donated $35.
Pamela Dabolt, of Oakesdale, Wash., donated $30, as did an anonymous donor, of Spokane.
Jeri Schmidt and Tyler Schmidt, of Cheney, sent $25 and a note: “This is a great opportunity for all to support our community,” Jeri Schmidt wrote.
Wendy Holmes, of Spokane, sent $25, as did Valerie and James Lynch, and Earl Reeves, all of Spokane; Paul and Dorothy Butler, of Cheney.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $25 in honor of her daughter, Ellen Hayes Wilkey. An anonymous donor, also of Spokane, sent $25 “in memory of parents no longer with us.”
Dane and Kurt VandeVanter donated $23.97 through PayPal, to honor Grandpa Jake and Grandma Colleen Meighan.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $20 in memory of his wife, Elizabeth. An anonymous donor, of Spokane, sent $20 in memory of her husband, Larry, and in honor of her grandchildren, Anthony and Ashley.