Thanks to $15,000 from AmericanWest Bank, of Spokane, and gifts from more than 100 others, the Christmas Fund is inching closer to its goal.
The fund pays the bills for the Christmas Bureau, a charity that distributes holiday gifts – toys, books and grocery vouchers – to Spokane-area families in need.
AmericanWest is a repeat donor, but it increased its donation this year in part to acknowledge the patrons who stuck with the bank during its recent recapitalization, said Kelly McPhee, a bank spokeswoman.
“In a lot of ways, it’s in honor of our customers,” McPhee said.
The bank’s sale to SKBHC Holdings LLC closed Monday after AmericanWest Bancorporation filed bankruptcy in October.
The Christmas Bureau, which runs on financial donations, distributes gifts for 10 days at the Spokane County fairgrounds. It closed Monday after serving 35,336 people.
The bureau is organized by Catholic Charities Spokane, Volunteers of America and The Spokesman-Review.
Other new donations
Donations totaling $45,759.40 increased the Christmas Fund to $389,398.40.
The employees and retirees of Jensen Distribution Services, of Spokane, gave $6,416. “We wish for everyone a very merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years,” wrote Michael Jensen, board chairman.
Adam and Michelle Jessup, of Spokane, gave $2,010.
Pearl Johnson, of Spokane, gave $1,000 in memory of her husband, John.
Greg and Ann Hougham, of Spokane, gave $1,000 “in memory of our good friend, Pete Maxwell.”
Phyllis Holmes and Bob Voris, of Spokane, gave $1,000 and wrote: “We are happy to be able to help.”
Tom and Colleen Tracy, of Spokane, gave $1,000 in recognition of the effort put forth by the workers in the Legal and Loan Servicing department at Northwest Farm Credit Services “and for all of their wonderful support and friendship over the past 27 years.”
Giving $970.70 via PayPal: an anonymous donor; and Kurt Fine.
The University High School faculty donated $875. “We are proud to show our spirit as Titans,” they wrote.
An anonymous donor from Spokane Valley gave $600 “in memory of Mom, Dad, Peggy, Rick and Craig.”
A Spokane family donated $500. Other Spokane residents who gave $500: an anonymous couple, in lieu of gifts to their children; and Helen and Robert Shanewise. Also giving $500: the employees of BPS Supply Co., of Spokane; an anonymous donor from Greenacres; and James Coombs, of Nine Mile Falls.
The Robert and Mary Alice Jones family, of Spokane Valley, gave $400 in memory of Marybelle Clark and Evelyn Phillips.
James and Linda Solan, of Spokane, gave $350.
Giving $300: Kile Machine and Manufacturing Inc., of Rosalia, Wash.; TEK Manufacturing Inc., of Spokane Valley; the Bindler family, of Spokane; an anonymous donor from Spokane; Jack and Pat Russell, of Spokane, in memory of their parents, Bob and Rose Russell and Joe and Marie Sullivan; and Ken Gerard and Lynda Ensign, of Clayton, Wash.
Giving $250: the Spokane alumnae chapter of Alpha Iota sorority; Morris Wolff, of Spokane; Kelly Scott and family, of Newman Lake; and the Lynn and Ralph Schmidt Family Fund.
Susan and Gary Bloom gave $242.45 via PayPal.
Spokane residents who gave $200: Lauretta Byrd; Gregory and Colleen Stevens; James and Ellsa Hersellus; an anonymous couple; Dan and Nettie Simonson, “in memory of Christine, Stewart, Mary Jane, Kent and Dorothy Simonson”; and Sharon Powell, in memory of her mother, June McGrath. Powell benefitted from Christmas Bureau as a child, she wrote, “and it often meant the difference between having a wonderful gift or nothing.” An anonymous couple from Spokane gave $200 in honor of their adult children, “who suggested we give to a charity and forgo gifts,” they wrote. “What a great idea!”
Also giving $200: the employees of the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals; Dennis and Bonnie Hughes, of Deer Park; and William Beck, of Otis Orchards.
Diane Notske donated $193.90 via PayPal.
Wilbur Yates, of Spokane, gave $165.
The staff of East Valley School District’s health rooms gave $150 and wrote: “Thanks for making Christmas a magical time for our students.”
Vernon and Myrna Shockley, of Spokane, gave $130 – $5 for each of their 17 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Two anonymous donors from Spokane gave $104.
The Feldmeier family – Dean, Kelly, Rachel and Max – gave $101.65 via PayPal.
Spokane Valley residents who gave $100: two separate anonymous couples; Tom and Sue Eastman, “in memory of Lilia Rehfeld”; and an anonymous donor, in memory of her husband.
Spokane residents who gave $100: John Dowd; Dorothy Babcock; Howard and Muriel Davis; Anita Kernie; Fred and Mary Kay Dayharsh; Mary and Bob Morgan, in honor of their grandchildren, Matt, John, Lauren, Christine, Tyler, Jennifer and Carly; Sarah and Emma Vogelman; and John and Kathleen McCarthy, “in gratitude for all the volunteers who so generously donate their time and talents.”
More Spokane residents who gave $100: Ken Raymond and Susan Dankovich; Sharen Robertson, in memory of her husband, Dave Robertson, and her grandson, Austin McKenzie; an anonymous couple; and another anonymous couple, longtime bureau volunteers who wrote: “It has been a privilege for us to meet those who come to the bureau in need. Their grace, patience and dignity are so striking.”
Jim and Linda Hunt, of Spokane, gave $100 in honor of their daughter, Krista Hunt, who was killed in a bus accident in Bolivia while serving rural families in community development projects. “This gift honors her memory of service to others,” they wrote.
Also giving $100: an anonymous donor; Darin, Kelly and Tyler Petty; Gary and Leslie Kueffler; Dan, Nancy and Mark Kessler; an anonymous donor from Colbert; Dave and Cathy Tapken, of Medical Lake, in memory of Jim and Joan Durkin; Leslie and Donna Dieckman, of Rathdrum; Dr. and Mrs. Lowell Mouser, of Otis Orchards; and Jacqueline Eide, of Odessa, Wash.
More $100 donors: Albert and Jean Pistorius, of Hayden Lake; Paddy and Teri Inman, of Mead, who wrote: “Thank you for the pure joy you bring to the faces and hearts of so many in our community”; and Fernley NV, MaKayla, Christopher, Christen, Micheal and Tyler Hatch, who gave in memory of Grandpa PT and Grandma Carolyn.
Giving $96.80 via PayPal: Gary Bell; Megan McChesney; Bette Grenier; Janet Porco; Doug and Mary Jayne; Susan Whitcomb, in honor of Sam and Janet Whitcomb; and Robyn and JR Sugalski.
Diane Sherman, of Spokane, gave $75, as did Timothy and Randi O’Brien, of Spokane.
George and Elise Bozzo, of Veradale, gave $65.
Andy, Brendan and Patrick Green gave $60.
Dixie Riddle and Mary Hoerner-Riddle, of Mead, gave $50 in memory of their spouses.
Spokane residents who gave $50: Bob and Julie Roberts; Fred Williams; Kim Graeber, in honor of her parents, Neal and Marge Graeber; Margaret Dingle; Rita Joyce, in memory of her dad, William Patrick Joyce; Mr. and Mrs. William Mullin; an anonymous couple in honor of their son Terry; Robert and Susan Anselmo; and Cherie and Douglas Foss.
More $50 donors: an anonymous donor from Spokane Valley; Debra Daniel, of Nine Mile Falls, in memory of her husband, Tom Daniel; Enrique and Suzanne Polle, of Pullman; Jon and Inez Malcolm, of Cheney; and Chris Vandervert and family, in memory of Don.
Giving $48.25 via PayPal: Walter Williams; Rob and Barb Bly; and Theresa Schimmels, in honor of Gary and Myrna Schimmels.
Steve and Janis Reed gave $33.68 via PayPal and wrote: “Thanks to all who make this a success, volunteers and donors.”
An anonymous donor gave $30, as did Marilyn Miller, of Spokane, and an anonymous donor from Spokane.
Spokane residents who gave $25: Theodore Stetzik and Christine Bieker; Laura Haile; Roger and Pat French; two separate anonymous donors; Nancy Biggerstaff, “in honor of sisters of Laureate Gamma Beta”; and Norm Gale.
Giving $25: an anonymous donor; Todd and Barbara Heaton, of Lincoln, Wash.; Larry and Laura Isaak, of Loon Lake, Wash.; and Patrick and Laurie Ferrell, of Mead, “in memory of Jean Larson, an amazing mom.” They wrote: “We love you and miss you.”
Jerry Hubbard gave $23.97 via PayPal.
Giving $20: Glenn Gannon, of Spokane Valley; Allie Schmidt, of Spokane; and two separate anonymous donors.
An anonymous donor from Spokane gave $10 and wrote: “How I wish it could be more.”