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Klaue family gives $10,000 in parents’ honor

August Klaue founded lumber companies

Bolstered by a generous $10,000 donation from the Klaue family, the Christmas Fund has grown to $67,810 – well ahead of the total at this time last year. The Klaue gift was among more than a dozen donations that arrived too late to be included in 2007’s tally.

Those $18,357 in donations gave the fund a good head start toward this year’s goal of $495,000. The goal is up 3 percent from last year to reflect an anticipated increase in need. The Christmas Bureau will open Dec. 10, offering toys and food vouchers to needy people.

The fund must close at year’s end because of its nonprofit status, and the bills for the Christmas Bureau are paid in January. This year the fund closes Dec. 30.

The Klaue Family Foundation, of Spokane Valley, donated the $10,000 in honor of the family’s parents, August V. and Mary E. Klaue.

“The spirit and generosity of the Spokane Community has helped many families experience the true meaning of Christmas,” wrote David Klaue. “We are proud to contribute and be a part of a program that brings joy and brightness to families that are in need.”

August Klaue, a Spokane native, was a Marine Corps officer in World War II. He later founded Northwest Lumber Sales, the Kamiah Mills and Empire Lumber Co.

“We are a very close family, in love and in age,” said Dan Klaue, the youngest of five Klaue children. “My dad was always giving back. He did well but was humble and loved everyone. When we went on trips, my dad would pick someone out who looked like he needed some help and invite him to eat with us.”

Mary Klaue was raised in Boise. “She was very theatrical,” Dan Klaue said. “She was Miss Idaho and then a model in New York. She worked for the Pentagon during the war.”

Dan Klaue said his parents met at a USO dance at Fairchild Air Force Base.

The Christmas Fund welcomes donations of all amounts. Donors’ names and the amounts they donate will be listed in daily stories in The Spokesman-Review. Donors who prefer to remain anonymous should indicate their wishes in a note accompanying their donation.

Following are the additional donations received after last year’s Christmas Fund closed:

The Guy and Ruth Reed Memorial Fund at Inland Northwest Community Foundation donated $2,111.

The Spokesman-Review Editorial Freebie Sale donated $2,581.58.

The Clarence Colby Memorial Fund, of Spokane, donated $1,474.78.

A $700 donation from the Spokane Public Schools Facilities, Maintenance and Capital Projects departments arrived in January. “We are thankful all year long for the support of the citizens of Spokane for public education. To give back to our community is something we look forward to this time of year,” wrote the donors.

Tordenskjold 2-005 of the Sons of Norway Foundation donated $250, as did Lynn and Ralph Schmidt, through the Schwab Charitable Fund.

The Wham Charitable Trust, of Elk, donated $200, as did Acme Concrete Paving Inc., of Spokane Valley.

Chris and Ken Brown, of Spokane, sent $100, as did James Kearney, of Spokane Valley, and Nancy Mahoney and Gary Matthews, of Spokane.

George and Barbara Stumph, of Mesa, Ariz., sent $100 and a note: “We still think of Spokane as home and like to support the Christmas Fund.”

Vicki Popp and her fellow singers at the Physicians Clinic of Spokane donated their prize of $100 from a karaoke contest at last year’s Christmas party. “Our group won the Best of the Worst for singing ‘Frosty the Snowman’ in chubby bunny style. Please accept our winnings to help those in need,” wrote Popp.

Mike Yake, of Spokane, gave $50.

Frank and Lois Barber, of Spokane, gave $20.

Susan English can be reached at christmasfund@