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Woodworkers fill bureau’s toy shelves

Club made 800 trucks for kids

The Christmas Fund bounced past $88,000 today, thanks to a generous community. The donations pay for Christmas toys and food for poor families at the Christmas Bureau.

The charity also depends on community members giving their time and effort. More than 200 volunteers will work during the 10 days the bureau is open at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, beginning Wednesday. Some volunteers’ work is already done, however.

About 20 members of the Hoo-Hoo Club, a group of local woodworkers, spent the summer making 800 wooden trucks for children whose families visit the Christmas Bureau. The club has done this in past years as well, crafting dump trucks and pickups in backyard workshops.

This year, though, the group did its work at Harbor Crest Retirement Community, where Hoo-Hoo officer Jack Eskeberg has moved in and set up shop.

“The management here allows me to share the shop with another person. We do all of the sanding in the shop and the kinds of things that create dust,” Eskeberg said.

The Hoo-Hoo Club makes wooden vehicles year-round, donating them to a variety of organizations that serve children.

“The boxes of trucks for the Christmas Bureau were picked two months ago. But we just finished painting another set last Wednesday,” Eskeberg said.

The toy trucks go to the child care area at the Christmas Bureau, where kids can wait while parents select toys to give them for Christmas. Each child gets a wooden truck to take with them.

Bureau organizers have all of the volunteers they need. But donations to the Christmas Fund are still needed to reach the goal of $495,000. Donations totaling $3,746 brought the fund to $88,237. Donations of all amounts are welcome.

Following are the donors and the amounts of their donations:

Longtime donor Marshall Shore, of Spokane, gave $1,000, as did Kilgore Architectural Products, also of Spokane.

The Comes family, of Spokane, sent $500, “hoping all children have smiling faces on Christmas morning.”

Bev Massie, of Spokane, sent $200 and a note: “My yearly donation is in memory of my husband Alan, who loved the work you do for those in need. It does not seem possible that in January he will be gone 11 years. Keep up the good work and a very Merry Christmas to all.”

Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Prekeges, of Spokane, also donated $200.

Morris, Lucille and Michael Slavens, of Spokane, donated $150.

Dave and Mary Larsen, of Spokane, donated $100, as did Kenneth and Helen Evans, of Mead; and Harold Wilson, Richard and Alice Hayes, and an anonymous donor, all of Spokane.

Joan Williams, of Spokane, donated $100 in memory of Marianne Daily. “She always gave to your special fund,” Williams wrote.

Jeff Mark donated $26.40 via PayPal, in memory of Dale Conboy.

Fran Mann, of Liberty Lake, gave $25, as did an anonymous donor, of Spokane Valley.

Jackie and Blane Silvey, of Spokane, sent $20.

Susan English can be reached at christmasfund@