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Record snowfall shutters bureau; need remains great

For the first time in the six-decade history of the Christmas Bureau, organizers closed the charity Thursday because of record snowfall. The bureau will remain closed today, organizers said, and extended hours are being considered for Saturday, the bureau’s final day.

In addition to concern about the safety of the people who get food vouchers and toys at the bureau, dozens of volunteers would have been unable to make it to the Spokane fairgrounds, organizers said.

The number of families making the trip to the bureau to seek help so far is about 18 percent higher than last year, despite inclement weather this week.

Donations to the Christmas Fund, which pay for the toys and vouchers, are still needed. Donations totaling $18,745 bumped the fund to $363,611.

Some companies donate to the fund as well as directly to the Christmas Bureau. Justus Bag Co., which gave $5,000 to the fund, also supplies the bureau with bags to hold toys and candy given out.

“Giving to the Christmas Fund has always been an incredible tradition for our company,” Darin Justus wrote. “We strongly feel that this year is more critical than previous years to continue on with our part in helping the community.

“In honor of our founder, Roland ‘Curly’ Justus, we are honored to be able to contribute to the fund. We sincerely hope this will make a difference in the lives of those who are facing unfortunate circumstances during this holiday season,” Justus wrote.

Here are other donors and what they gave:

The Spokane Regional Plan Center sent $2,000 and a letter: “Since 1994, the Spokane Regional Plan Center and its members have been proud to donate to this most worthy cause. We hope other construction-related organizations will donate whatever they are able and hope all those in the area that are considering a donation keep in mind the families and children these donations benefit,” Chairman Mike Kilgore wrote. “The need this year is even greater and it is important that we all do what we can to make the holidays a little brighter for those less fortunate right here in our own community.”

An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $1,500.

Les and Lyn Wolff, of Mica, donated $1,000. Colleen and Tom Tracy, of Spokane, gave $1,000 “to help those in need and to acknowledge the tremendous efforts during 2008 by all of the staff in the Legal and Lending Support Division at Northwest Farm Credit Services.”

Patricia Cornett, of St. Petersburg, Fla., sent $500 “in memory of my father, Delco Cornett, with whom I was reunited in Spokane, after a 30-year separation; in memory of Ken Trent, who was a very integral part of our reunion and who shared with me his passion for the Christmas Bureau; and in thanks to the people of Spokane who blessed me with their great kindness and compassion.”

Eris Heggem, of Spokane Valley, sent $500, as did an anonymous donor, of Spokane. Another anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $500 in honor and memory of friends and family.

Linda Ashlock and Susan Boyd, of Liberty Lake, donated $400, as did T. and S., of Spokane.

Joanna and Larry Kiewert, of Deer Park, donated $300, as did Sandra Willcocks, of Spokane Valley; and an anonymous donor, of Spokane. An anonymous donor, also of Spokane, gave $300 in memory of “Mom, Dad and Judy.”

Frank and Patricia Goodman, of Spokane, sent $250, as did an anonymous donor, of Spokane.

The Morales family, of Medical Lake, donated $200, as did Colleen and Gregory Stevens, Mr. and Mrs. Fuhs, and an anonymous donor, all of Spokane.

John and Brenda Stanton, of Nine Mile Falls, gave $200 in memory of their grandmother, Catherine Dellinger, “who dedicated her life to charitable work.”

An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $200 in memory of her father, Donald Johnson, and niece, Devin Johnson.

A $190 donation was made by N.D. and J.E. Skaufel, in memory of “a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, Herb Skaufel.”

The LaBar family, of Spokane, donated $150, as did Robert and Ellen Houx, also of Spokane.

Eight employees in the city of Spokane Human Resources Department donated $120.

Joan and John Cooper, of Spokane Valley, donated $100, as did Richard and Christy Pospahala, of Newman Lake; Connie and Dave McGovern, David and Michele Heidel of Heidel Piano Services, John and Judith Brown, Gordon Olson, and George-Ann, Catherina, Alexander and Johnathan, all of Spokane.

Carl and Denise Crowe, of Spokane, donated $100 in memory of five family members and friends who died this year. Julie Rotan, of Spokane, gave $100 in memory of “her love, R.R.R.”

An anonymous donor, of Colbert, sent $100, as did an anonymous donor, of Spokane.

An anonymous donor, of Spokane, sent $60.

The Michael Carbery family, of Spokane, gave $50, as did Bobbi Jo Dart, Ronald Doyen, and Kenneth and Linda Leyde, all of Spokane; Tom and Bette Brattebo, of Liberty Lake; and an anonymous donor, of Four Lakes.

Charles and Linda Ellis, of Veradale, gave $50 in honor of their grandson, Jordan Chapman. Diane Veltri, of Spokane, donated $50 in memory of her brother, Doug White.

Wes and Sherry Westermann, of Otis Orchards, donated $35, as did an anonymous donor, of Spokane.

Lenora Barton Harding, of Spokane, gave $30 in memory of Larilla Barton. Don Harding, of Spokane, gave $30 in memory of George and Francis Harding.

Ann Carey and Patty Rabel, of Spokane, donated $30 in memory of their dad, Ken Rabel.

Norman Gale, of Spokane, donated $25, as did the Sandy Hill Garden Club and three anonymous donors, all of Spokane. Donna Fleming, of Spokane Valley, gave $25 in memory of her father, John Evans, who died at Christmas 17 years ago.

Andrea Watts, of Spokane, gave $20 in memory of her daughter, Jennifer Hornstra, nephew, Kenny Beach, and stepdad, Rocky Beach. An anonymous donor, of Spokane Valley, gave $20, as did an anonymous donor, of Spokane, hoping it helps make someone’s holiday “a little brighter.”

Two anonymous donors, of Spokane, each gave $10.

Mary Elaine Clark, of Mead, also sent $10 and a note:

“I know it is not much, but it’s all I can send since I was recently laid off from my job. But I know there are people in our area that are a lot worse off than me. I have a lot to be thankful for.”

Susan English can be reached at christmasfund@

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