Russell Holliday had a giving instinct.
He helped serve meals for people in need. If he saw someone on the street with their hand out, he put something in it.
That’s one reason his parents, Darlene and Tim Holliday, honor his memory each year with a donation to the Christmas Fund, which pays the costs at the Christmas Bureau – a charity that gives toys, books and grocery vouchers to low-income residents.
Russell Holliday, also known as “Air Hoss,” was a helicopter-tour pilot who died in a crash at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Father’s Day in 2003. He was 35, and he had a wife and two young children.
“We miss him desperately, and we think of him every day,” Darlene Holliday, 65, said.
The Hollidays – whose gift is included in today’s tally – are among many donors to the Christmas Fund who make their contributions in memory of loved ones. For some, the grief is fresh. For others, the fund has become a way to honor their friend or family member each year during the holiday season.
Darlene Holliday and her husband, Tim Holliday, 66, also give their time to the Christmas Bureau as volunteers. Among the Spokane residents’ duties is staffing the intake tables.
“It’s a very important thing to us, and the more we are around the Christmas Bureau, the more passionate we are about what it does,” Darlene Holliday said.
The Christmas Fund stands at $284,008.59.
Kimmel Athletic Supply Co., of Spokane, gave $3,000. “A Christmas tradition such as hanging lights, decorating trees and enjoying family and friends is what the holiday season is all about,” read a letter accompanying the Kimmel employees’ donation. “… We are proud to be a part of the Spokane community and help support this thoughtful cause.”
Alliant Securities, of Liberty Lake, gave $1,000.
Virginia Harger, of Spokane, gave $500, as did Harold and Sharon Cathcart, of Colbert.
Fred and Sharon Clark, of Chattaroy, gave $300 in memory of Sarah Anne Clark.
Tim and Darlene Holliday, of Spokane, gave $250 in memory of their son Russell “Air Hoss” Holliday. Tri States Rebar, of Spokane Valley, also gave $250.
Jeff and Theresa Utesch, of Veradale, gave $200. Craig Aldworth and Kathryn Ann Hobbs, of Spokane, also gave $200 in memory of their dads, Bill Aldworth and Bruce Hobbs.
The following Spokane residents gave $100: Oscar and Lois Thomason; an anonymous couple; Frank and Jeanine Neeri; James Walesby; Jerry and Jill Skogstad; Brent Hoogner; and Joe and Carolyn Schauble, in memory of their parents, Robert and Mary Schauble and Carl and Edna Magee.
Others who gave $100: Teri and Paddy Inman, of Mead; and Blaine Krebs, of Mead.
Spokane residents who gave $50: James and Rose Marie Santorsola; Myra White; and Molly Hannan. The Gibson family, of Spokane, gave $50 “in memory of Merete Larson, whose life exuded empathy and compassion for people. Merete enriched our lives, and she would love to spread Christmas cheer to others.”
Others who gave $50: John Remund, of Spokane Valley, in memory of Jean Remund; Robert and Diana Elder, of Spokane Valley; and Charles and C. Michael Wolfe, of Cheney.
Scott and Susanne Everett, of Spokane, gave $40.
Rachel Vinson, of Spokane Valley, gave $25. Vinson wrote that her great-aunt Carol Lee Davis was an early recipient of the Christmas Fund, which paid for surgery for Davis’ heart condition in 1946. Joni and Warren Omans, of Otis Orchards, also gave $25.
An anonymous donor gave $20 in memory of John Devlin.
David and Lorna Belyea, of Nine Mile Falls, gave $15.
An anonymous donor from Spokane gave $10.