They came from near and far, but mostly near.
Preliminary numbers from this year’s Christmas Bureau show that the vast majority of the adults and children served live in Spokane County. The bureau imposes no residency requirements, but the charity – paid for by donations by readers to The Spokesman-Review’s Christmas Fund – serves mostly local people in need.
The bureau is a valuable resource this year to Tricia Stannard, 28, a Spokane mother of four who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer in her lymph nodes.
“I do want my kids to know that Santa is here and thinking of them in times like this,” Stannard said in an e-mail.
More than 10,700 households were served over 10 days at the Spokane County fairgrounds.
Of those, 49 families came from Idaho, nearly half of them from Post Falls.
One family served was from Libby, Mont.
Everyone else lived in Washington, including 9,000 with Spokane addresses.
The Christmas Bureau, which closed Monday, is a collaborative effort among the Volunteers of America, Catholic Charities Spokane and the newspaper.
Despite heaps of generous donations, the fund remains short of its goal of $500,000 – the amount coordinators calculated they needed to pay for the toys, food vouchers and books distributed to families.
PayPal donations should be made by Sunday. Donations of checks and cash must be received by Tuesday to be counted in this year’s fund. They can be mailed or dropped off at the newspaper’s Spokane or Coeur d’Alene offices.
New donations to the Christmas Fund boost the tally to $417,096.76.
Acme Concrete Paving Inc., of Spokane, gave $5,000.
Peggy and Wes Delaney, of Spokane, gave $2,000.
A group of Spokane Public Schools superintendents, managers and directors gave $1,010. “We are honored to work with Spokane’s children and to live in such a supportive community,” they wrote.
The law firm of Stocker, Smith, Luciani & Staub gave $1,000.
The McBurney-Gadd family, of Spokane, gave $693.
Wilson Tool & Manufacturing, of Spokane, gave $600.
Those from Spokane who gave $500: an anonymous couple; Karl and Audrey Schott; and Fernwell Associates.
Eris Heggem, of Spokane Valley, gave $500, as did Walker’s Furniture, of Spokane Valley. Wrote Mark Walker: “We are blessed to live in a community that helps those in need.”
Also giving $500: Greg Speer, of Hauser Lake; David and Sally Powers, of Ritzville; and Jeff and Kim Brown, of Mead.
George Sullivan gave $485.20 via PayPal.
Lt. Col. Michael and Kristin Nester, of Cheney, gave $375.
Spokane residents who gave $300: Charles Haywood; Bruce and Kathy Bixler; Keith and Janet Walker; and the Karen and Stephen Darling family, in memory of Dr. Jim Perry, Jim Chatham and Glen Cloninger.
Fred and Sharon Clark, of Chattaroy, gave $300 in memory of Sarah Anne Clark. Joanna Kiewert, of Deer Park, also gave $300.
Spokane residents who gave $250: Don and Linda McClellan; and an anonymous couple.
Also giving $250: an anonymous couple from Hayden; Les and Lyn Wolff, of Mica, Wash.; and Inland Empire Drywall Co., of Spokane Valley.
The Northside Pinochle Club gave $245.
Spokane’s Finest gave $240.
Craig and Linda Lenhart, of Spokane, gave $225 in memory of Clarence and Hedvie Lenhart.
An anonymous donor gave $222.
Bob and Judy Lee, of Spokane, gave $200 in memory of their grandson Austin McKenzie, mother Catherine Lee, and father Ken Smith. Other Spokane residents who gave $200: Ted and Winnie Allen; Mary and Art, in honor of their families; Lola and Dick Lile, in honor of Lola’s parents Robert and Ellen Houx, “who demonstrated their generosity in their daily lives”; Pam and Randy Ulberg, in memory of Pam’s mother, Jean Sampson; and Mark Callen.
The Spokane Inland Empire chapter of the American Ex-Prisoners of War Club gave $200. “We are fewer in number but thankful we can still make a contribution to your worthy cause,” Commander Bud Kirchoff wrote.
Spokane Valley residents who gave $200: an anonymous donor; and Yvonne Hayes, as a thanks to her “neighbors, family and friends who have given so much time, help and love to see me through this year of illness.”
Also giving $200: Philip and Joann Anderson, of Veradale; Leanne and Gary Brosius, of Veradale, in memory of their parents; an anonymous donor from Valleyford, in memory of Devin Johnson, her niece; Judy Crabb, of Cheney; and an anonymous couple from Liberty Lake.
Helle Aaes-Jorgensen gave $193.90 via PayPal.
Ronald Richardson gave $184.19 via PayPal.
An anonymous couple from Spokane donated $175 and sent a note thanking bureau volunteers, businesses and organizers who “contribute to make a brighter holiday season.” Scott McGann, Kari, Kathi and Amy of Payne Financial Group sent $175 in lieu of buying gifts for their clients.
An anonymous couple from Spokane gave $150 in memory of Lisa Portrey and Garth Mason.
Giving $125: Paul and Kelly Moorman, of Spokane; the Cheney High School math department; and Robert and Maureen O’Brien, “for a little joy for someone.”
Spokane residents who gave $100: William and Jody Franks; Rod and Anne Hartman; Gwen Sanders; two separate anonymous donors; Fred and Geraldine Fait; Kenneth and Karleen Blanchard; Kathleen and Hugh Lackie; Colleen Warner; three separate anonymous couples; Richard and Jennifer Frost; Thomas and Elaine Pitzer; Cindie Treece; James and Leonette Miller; Philip and Brit Penberthy, in memory of Adeline Penberthy and Ingebrigt Eidsmo; Steven and Elizabeth Hitch; and Harley and Melanie Reckord.
Also giving $100: Park Place Construction, of Spokane; the Spokane Sea Hawkers; the Boswell Law Firm, of Spokane; Alfie the dog, of Spokane Valley, in memory of Bob and Michael; Peter and Charlotte Yocum, of Cheney; Robert Bauerle, of Colbert; and George and Pamela Young, of Colbert, in memory of Daniel and Adeline Young.
Cliff and Corrie Tollett, of St. John, Wash., gave $90.
Spokane residents who gave $75: Carmen Schriock; and Curtis and Sheila Schillinger, in memory of their fathers. John Tiffany, of Spokane Valley, gave $75 in memory of Dorothy.
Spokane residents who gave $50: an anonymous couple; Rocky Elliott; Harry Sparks, in honor of “all of our grandparents”; Louise and Alex Vanderwilde; Dorothy Myhrum; Clementine Bieker; Mary Peer, in memory of her husband, Denny; Mary Ann Kroll; and an anonymous donor.
Spokane Valley residents who gave $50: David and Rosanne Whitney; Verda Coryell; and Beverly Harvey.
Rollin and Gratia Hasness, of Loon Lake, gave $50 in honor of their son-in-law and daughter, Paul and Terry Giordanella: “They are so giving and thoughtful to those less fortunate.”
Also giving $50: John Guest, of Greenacres, in memory of his wife, Chris; Jim and Marlys Abrahamson, of Cheney; Mary Harvill, of Deer Park; Richard and Christy Pospahala, of Newman Lake; the Otis Orchards Women’s Club; and an anonymous donor.
Ashley and Kaylan Meyer, of Spokane, donated $45.66. “We have saved our money all year long to help other people at Christmas,” they wrote. “We chose the Christmas Fund this year because we wanted to help reach the goal.”
Patti Helmbrecht, of Spokane, gave $40, as did Tyonek McCadams, of Woodland, Wash.
Spokane residents who gave $30: Nancy and Jeffrey Strite; and Ernst and Rita Pickel. Sierra LaBrie, 7, of Deer Park, gave $30 “for presents for kids.”
Spokane residents who gave $25: Marge Boyles; Janelle and Donald Higgins; an anonymous donor; Willabelle Godfrey; another anonymous donor, in memory of her parents, Chuck and Joy White; and Stephanie Zoldak, in honor of her hard-working college student sons, Alex and Ethan Luce.
Also giving $25: an anonymous donor from Spokane Valley; Peggy Luke, of Newport, Wash.; and the Priest family.
Jeri McGuire gave $23.97 via PayPal.
Spokane residents who gave $20: Laura Slentz; Mary Campbell; and Christine Olson. Douglas and Jane Salvadalena, of Spokane Valley, also gave $20, as did Matt Jacoby.
Frank and Carol Sperber, of Valley, Wash., gave $10.
An anonymous donor from Moscow, Idaho, gave $10 “in memory of Mom, Dad and Roy.”