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Avista gift helps fund blow past its goal

Wed., Dec. 24, 2008

Weather, economy provided challenges

Donations of $20,000 from Avista Corp. and its employees and $6,125 from the Fernwell Building tenants helped the Christmas Fund bounce well past its goal today.

“This year has been filled with many challenges, from our national economic downturn to the impacts of higher prices for everything from groceries to energy felt right here in the Inland Northwest,” wrote Scott Morris, Avista’s president and CEO.

“For 119 years, Avista’s employees have given generously of their time, talent and treasure in support of the needs of people in the communities where they live, work and play. This year is no different,” Morris wrote. “The Christmas Bureau is a wonderful partnership of resources and volunteers, truly exemplifying the spirit of the holiday season. As your hometown utility, we are pleased to help support this enduring community tradition of giving.”

Donations to the Christmas Fund pay for the toys and food vouchers given to poor families at the Christmas Bureau. The bureau closed Saturday after giving out the fixings of Christmas, including 15,300 toys to more than 8,300 families.

Because the bureau was closed for two days last week because of bad weather, Catholic Charities and the Volunteers of America, partners in running the charity, gave out an additional 345 food vouchers Monday at their downtown offices. That bumped the total value of food vouchers distributed to about $285,000.

Volunteers moved 2,000 leftover toys to storage Monday. ABC Storage and National Storage donate space to the Christmas Bureau. The toys will be handed out next year.

The bills for this year’s operation will be settled in January, when grocery stores that honored the food vouchers are reimbursed.

The Christmas Fund will continue accepting donations through Monday. Donations remaining after the bills are paid will go toward the first bureau toy order next summer.

Following are the donors and the amounts of their donations:

Fernwell Building tenants and Executive Suite tenants collectively donated $6,125: Robyn and Mary Miller, Carol Haugen, Virtual Counsel; Charles and Diane Hammer, Mark B. Callen, Stephen F. Faust, Boswell Law Firm, Law Firm of Parsons/Burnett/Bjordahl, LLP, Dan J. Cadagan III, Dennis Clark and Debbie Bardwell, Rick and Sue Matthews, Autumn Saunders, Chris Picken, Jere Jaline, Law Office of Gerald R. Smith, Home Debut/Tour Factory, and Dave and Cathy Gay.

“Contributing to the Christmas Fund has been a long-standing tradition at the Fernwell Building. This year we again extended an invitation to tenants to join with us in helping the many in our community who are in need. Fernwell Building Tenants stepped up to the plate with astonishing generosity. Thank you for providing us with a vehicle to help our community,” wrote Fernwell Building representatives.

Chantal, Jase, Tawnie and Roger Rouleau, of Liberty Lake, sent $3,000 and their thanks for the volunteers who make the Christmas Bureau possible.

The estate of Pat Ryan donated $2,000. Ryan was to be volunteer director of the Christmas Bureau this year, but he died unexpectedly last summer.

Kimmel Athletic Supply Co., of Spokane, donated $2,000. “Christmas traditions include trees, lights, family dinners and presents under the tree. For the employees of Kimmel Athletic, the Christmas Fund has become one of our traditions. We are proud to be part of this community-wide display of true Christmas spirit,” Kimmel CFO Brian Davis wrote. “The employees of our company are happy to contribute to this program, knowing it will provide gifts and good cheer to those less fortunate at this time of year.”

Peter and Susan Fern, of Spokane, donated $1,000, as did Craig and Linda Lenhart, Dupree Building Specialties, and Vickerman and Driscoll Financial, all of Spokane; and Paul Reamer, of Spokane Valley.

Sondra Wildman, of Spokane, donated $700.

Spokane Production Service Inc., donated $500, as did an anonymous donor, of Mead, and an anonymous donor, of Spokane, “for Donna.”

Diane Larson, of Almira, Wash., donated $400.

Pat and Jim Lynass, of Spokane, donated $300 in memory of their parents and in honor of their children and grandchildren.

Jim and Linda Solan, of Spokane, sent $300, as did an anonymous donor, also of Spokane. Bill and Mabel McInerney, of Priest Lake, Idaho, sent $300 and their thanks to all of the generous donors to the Christmas Fund during these especially tough economic times.

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1015 donated $289.42.

Doug, DJ and Roo Brajcich, of Spokane, donated $250, “in memory of our father and grandfather, Daniel Brajcich, son and brother, Scott Brajcich, and close friend Sherryl Leslie, all of whom we miss dearly. Sherryl made a large contribution to the Christmas Fund, as she much enjoyed helping less fortunate people.”

Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Moore, of Spokane, also donated $250.

Scott McGann, Amy and Kathi, of Payne Financial Group, donated $205. “In lieu of buying gifts for our valued clients, we want to share this financial contribution with the residents of Spokane who are most in need this Christmas season,” they wrote.

Nancy Starr, of Spokane, donated $200, as did Jill Beth, of Spokane Valley; and two anonymous donors, both of Spokane. An anonymous donor, of Colbert, gave $200 in memory of friend Denny Sulpizio. Brian and June Dickmann, of Spokane, donated $200, “for Therese Steeber.”

Christina Marino and Phillip Jones, of Spokane, donated $150, as did Larry and Barbara Tobin, also of Spokane. A Spokane donor sent $150 “to Mom and Dad, from one of your 7 D’s, love the 4 B’s.”

Richard Olson, of Spokane, sent $100, as did Wayne and Joyce Attwood, Carole Seim, and three anonymous donors, all of Spokane; Park Lane Motel, of Spokane Valley; an anonymous donor, of Colbert; and an anonymous donor, of Airway Heights.

The Spawn family, of Spokane, donated $100 in honor of Mrs. Layton and Mr. Morton at St. Thomas More School. Kathy Fletcher, of Spokane, donated $100 in honor of her grandchildren, Kadin, Ashley and Kaisa.

Bob and Lois Banta, of Mead, donated $100 in memory of Jim Shively.

The Backus family, of Spokane Valley, gave $100 in memory of Jim Clark, Les and Geneva Backus, Dusty Dutt, Don Barnhouse, Fran Sprague and Emory Troyer. “We also give special thanks to the Christmas Bureau for their compassion to the community. Let us never forget those less fortunate than us,” they wrote.

Don and Diana Storey, of Spokane, donated $100 in memory of Dorothy K. Jarvis. George and Pam Young, of Spokane, donated $100 in memory of Daniel R. and Adeline Young.

Arlene Moore donated $96.80 via PayPal.

An anonymous donor, of Cheney, gave $75 in memory of Frances Risdon.

Myra and Donald White, of Spokane, sent $50, as did William Stimson, and Jennie MacDonald, both of Spokane. John Tiffany, of Veradale, donated $50 in memory of his wife, Dorothy. Bruce and Nancy Wendelburg, of Spokane Valley, gave $50, in honor of their parents, John, Kay, Al, Ruth and Gail.

Susan Watson-Persyn, of Priest River, Idaho, donated $38 in memory of her son, Auddan Watson. “He would give his toys for others to play with, so I’m sure he would enjoy giving to needy children, especially at Christmas,” she wrote.

A.D. and E.M. Ackels, of Newport, Wash., donated $25, as did two anonymous donors, of Spokane; an anonymous donor, of Spokane Valley; and an anonymous donor, of Spokane, “in memory of loved ones.”

An anonymous donor sent $23.97 via PayPal.

Susan English can be reached at christmasfund@

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