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Fund poised to meet its goal

Auto dealerships, law firm give boost

The Christmas Fund is within reach of its goal of $495,000 thanks to generous donations from the community.

A donation of $7,652 from Lee & Hayes, PLLC, of Spokane, and $5,720 from Downtown Toyota, Downtown Honda and Downtown Lexus of Spokane brought new donations to $43,814. That puts the fund about $5,000 shy of its goal.

Donations pay for food vouchers and toys distributed at the Christmas Bureau. The final vouchers were handed out Monday at the downtown offices of Catholic Charities and Volunteers of America. Heavy snowfall last week closed the bureau at the Spokane fairgrounds for two days, so organizers distributed the vouchers to needy families this week.

Catholic Charities’ Theresa Dryden said more than 160 vouchers were distributed Monday.

Downtown Toyota, Downtown Honda and Downtown Lexus of Spokane are among the annual donors to the Christmas Fund. “Each year all of our employees donate and we match their contributions,” wrote David R. Coombs and Steve Coombs. “We feel very fortunate that there is a fund that helps so many families and organizations right here in our own city.”

Following are additional donors and the amounts of their donations:

Acme Concrete Paving Inc., of Spokane, donated $5,000. “During this time of year, and especially this year with the poor economy and tons of snow, our hearts go out to those who have less than us, and our hope is that this donation may make a little difference in someone’s life, hopes and dreams,” Acme’s president, Tim Welsh, wrote.

An anonymous donor, of the Fairwood Retirement Center, sent $5,000. “I am very thankful for my many blessings and would like to share with those less fortunate,” the donor wrote.

JMA Commercial Real Estate sent $1,000. “JMA Commercial Real Estate is a small commercial real estate property management and brokerage firm in the Spokane Valley. In lieu of giving gifts to our clients, customers and tenants of the buildings we manage, I am making this donation on their behalf. I hope this will help others have a merry Christmas. I truly appreciate your efforts every year to provide as many local families as possible the means to have a happy holiday season,” wrote Jamie M. Traeger, owner of JMA.

An anonymous donor, of Spokane, also gave $1,000 in memory of their parents.

Susan Ryan donated $970.70 via PayPal in memory of her father, Patrick Ryan. “He enjoyed the time of helping others more than his family realized. This God-given gift was given to him by the Lord he served. It is my prayer that his donation will bring that same joy to others in the community where my dad lived and worked. God bless you all in Spokane,” she wrote.

University High School employees sent $900 and a note: “In what has become an annual tradition, the entire faculty of University High School has dedicated itself to helping those less fortunate during the holiday season. We are proud to show our spirit as Titans and would like to share with the needy in the Spokane area. We propose a challenge to the faculty of all other area schools to meet or beat our efforts,” they wrote.

The Spokane Public Schools Leadership Team donated $740. “We know firsthand the need in our community and thank The Spokesman-Review and everyone involved for making the holidays brighter for Spokane’s families – our families,” wrote Nancy Stowell, Mark Anderson, Karin Short, Staci Vesneske, Terren Roloff, Irene Gonzales, Lorna Spear, Tammy Campbell and Mike Ainsworth.

Dr. Jeff R. Hood and Dr. Blaine D. Dodson, and the staff of Evergreen Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, of Spokane Valley, donated $500, as did Jim and Jaequeline Peirone, Jack and Kathy Ossello, and Inland Fastening Systems Inc., all of Spokane; and Shirley and Gary Branson, of Spokane Valley.

The Patten family, of Spokane, sent $500 in memory of Les Patten, who died in August 2006. “Each December, Les made a contribution to the fund and his family believes in continuing that legacy. Les believed that our lives had truly been blessed and that we had a responsibility to share those blessings with others. The education we received at Whitworth compels us to give back with that graciousness in giving we learned so many years ago,” they wrote.

Mark and Valerie Sonderen, of Spokane, sent $500, and thanks to Catholic Charities, Volunteers of America, The Spokesman-Review and all of the volunteers “for their wonderful and generous service to those in our community who need help this blessed season.”

Ted and Winnie Allen, of Spokane, donated $400.

Walt and Imelda Patterson, of Spokane, sent $300, as did Daniel and Susan O’Rourke, and an anonymous donor, also all of Spokane.

An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $300 in honor of Yvonne Dailey, “fondly known 20 years ago as Street Grandma. She died Dec. 8 and she wanted no flowers, but only shoes and socks donated to the kids at Crosswalk. For more than two years she gave out warm clothes, toiletries, food, love and hugs to the teens living on the streets, at Crosswalk, Riverview Group Home and Spokane Juvenile Detention. She gave until she ran out of money, then she sold her house on Lacrosse and moved into an apartment so she would have funds to continue being Street Grandma and provide for the teens,” wrote the donor.

The Doran family, of Spokane, gave $300 in memory of Gilbert and Michael Doran.

The family of H. Earl Davis sent $300 in his memory. “He was always kind and generous. Thank you for making it possible to give in the true spirit of Christmas in his memory,” they wrote.

An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $298.

The city of Sandpoint staff donated $275 to benefit families from North Idaho.

Kathy and Bruce Bixler, of Spokane, sent $250 and their thanks to the Christmas Bureau volunteers, especially Don Kelly, “who gives so much of his time to this community.”

Steve Smitherman, of Spokane, donated $250 in memory of his wife, Lisa Marie Smitherman.

The Sons of Norway Tordenskjold Lodge, 2-005, of Spokane, donated $250.

The Brosius, Lynch and Powers families, of Veradale, donated $250 in memory of Melba Valley and Alice Van Cleef.

Transtector, of Hayden, donated $208.

Shannon Votava donated $203.61 via PayPal.

Ed and Diana Honodel, of Otis Orchards, donated $200, as did Christy and Tom Hamilton, of Colbert; Beatrice Koempel-Thomas and Travis Thomas, Raland and Cynthia John, Eleanor Schrader, and Sarah and Emma Vogelman, all of Spokane.

Lorraine Burghard, of Moses Lake, sent $200 in memory of her daughter, Vicki Burghard, “who was killed in 1986 by a drunk driver.”

Debra Andrews, of Clarkston, sent $200 and a note: “This is a Christmas gift to my husband, Ike, knowing that the true gift is the gift of giving to others. May someone else have a blessed Christmas, as it brings us great joy to give.”

Barry Bergan, of Spokane, sent $200 in the name of Debbie and Terry Montgomery, replacing a Christmas gift exchange. Mom and Grammie, of Spokane, donated $200 in memory of Gail, Tim and Brenda.Vera Banta, of Spokane, donated $200 in memory of her husband, Dean, and son-in-law, Jim Shively.

Virginia Schneidmiller, of St. John, Wash., sent $150.

An anonymous donor gave $145.35 via PayPal.

The Valley family, of Spokane, sent $137.98 and a note: “Our son, Carson, donated all the money from his piggy bank last year. This year, Mom, Dad and Little Sister followed his lead. We saved all year and we agreed to donate to the Christmas Fund. We hope it makes Christmas a little brighter for everyone dealing with these hard times,” they wrote.

An anonymous donor, of Spokane, sent $125.

William and Thelma Johnson, of Heron, Mont., sent $110, as did P. Worden, of Spokane.

Virginia Jacobson, of Nine Mile Falls, donated $100, as did Leslie Dieckman, of Rathdrum; Mary Cameron, and Lee and Kathryn Irving, all of Spokane Valley; and Christopher and Karen Sherfey, Delbert and Rojean Flory, Melvin and Gloria McCuddin, Connie and Ronald Hedrick, Melanie Johnson, Frank and Jeannie Neeris, Bonnie Cox, Charlene Ristuben, and Len and Heidi Preston, all of Spokane.

The Inspiration Quartet, of Spokane, donated $100 and sang carols at the Christmas Bureau.

Linda Cunningham, of Spokane, donated $100 in lieu of exchanging gifts with her friends. Uncle John and Aunt Jody, of Spokane, sent $100 for their nieces and nephews, Max, Amanda, Ben, Leah, Jimmy, Jordan, Jake, Josh and Tess.

John Meyers, of Seven Bays, Wash., donated $100, as did James and Leanett Hiller, Carol and Frederic Rettenmund, Randi O’Brien, Steven and Elizabeth Hitch, Daniel and Kathleen Johnson, Leah Taylor, Barbara McCowan, and four anonymous donors, all of Spokane.

Orene Harder, of Spokane Valley, sent $100 in memory of her husband, Roger.

Jim and Evie Johnson, of Spokane, sent $100 and their thanks to all of the volunteers who make the Christmas Fund and Christmas Bureau happen. Darla Malone, of Hayden, sent $100 in honor of her mom, Maxine Malone, and in memory of her dad, Richard Malone.

Cliff and Judie Hoekema, of Spokane, and their families donated $100, “because our family is so blessed at Christmas and the need in Spokane is so great.”

Paddy and Teri Inman, of Mead, sent $100, as did an anonymous donor, of Newport, Wash.; and an anonymous donor of Spokane Valley. Wayne and Patti Hibdon, of Spokane Valley, sent $100 with hopes it helps another family or two make some good Christmas memories.

Thomas Hopkins donated $96.80 via PayPal.

June and John Sine, of Spokane Valley, donated $80 in the names of their grandchildren, Riley, Brock, Bryndon, Olivia, Thomas, Braxton, Jyoti and Sophia.

Dick and Delores Soldberg, of Liberty Lake, donated $75.

Jeffrey Harmson donated $72.52 via PayPal.

Mary and John Benham, of Spokane, sent $60.

Larry and Bonnie Owens, of Greenacres, donated $50, as did Marion Moos, Joan and Kerry Orcutt, Mary Lynn Smith, Mildred Stoeser, Monica and Eddy Nagashima, the Dunn family, R.W. Ulberg and Pamela Medley, and two anonymous donors, all of Spokane; an anonymous donor, of Mica; and an anonymous donor, of Spokane Valley.

Dennis and Bernice Nelson, of Nine Mile Falls, sent $50 in memory of their parents, Pete and Lillian Nelson and Kenneth and Dorothy Bell. The Mike Edmunds family, of Spokane, donated $50 in memory of their parents, Francis and Mary Edmunds and Jack and Jessie Weller.

Kris Spelman, of Spokane, donated $50 in memory of her grandmother, Violet Burgunder, and great-aunt, Elsie Altin.

Emily Gordon donated $48.25 via PayPal for Tony and Becky’s Christmas.

Evelyn Graves, of Medical Lake, donated $30 in memory of Bill Graves. William and Ida Young, of Spokane, sent $30, as did Meryl and Marilyn Bauer, also of Spokane.

Bob and Cil LaFountain, of Spokane Valley, gave $25, as did Glenn Gannon, also of Spokane Valley; Betty Thompson, Margaret Swanson, and an anonymous donor, all of Spokane; and an anonymous donor, of Newport, Wash.

Michelle Hebner donated $23.97 via PayPal, as did Endeavor Enterprises.

Konny Thompson, of Spokane, donated $20, as did William and Loralee Silverthorn, and an anonymous donor, all of Spokane. An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $20 in memory of John Devlin.

The Price family, of Fairchild Air Force Base, sent $10 and a note: “Thank you for your generous time and care for your community’s needy, and thanks to the many folks and businesses who have also generously donated money this year,” they wrote.

Ronnie Rae Inc. donated $4.55 via PayPal.

Renee Salib, of Nine Mile Falls, donated $4 in memory of her son, Kris, who died in June. “I am hoping to plant the seed of understanding that the burden of helping the less fortunate is lightened when shared by many,” she wrote.

Susan English can be reached at christmasfund@


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