Like the Polar Express picking up steam as it heads to the North Pole, donations for the Christmas Bureau are increasing thanks to area individuals, businesses and families who want to ensure the less fortunate in our community have a happy holiday.
Over the weekend almost 100 donors contributed a combined $28,933, moving the Christmas Bureau closer to its $525,000 goal.
The bureau provides a toy and book for each child, and a small food voucher for each household that accesses the charity, which is organized by Catholic Charities, Volunteers of America and The Spokesman-Review. It’s funded by reader donations.
Among the donors, listed below, longtime contributor Teck American Inc. sent $10,000.
“We continue to give because we see a great need that exists in this community, and Christmastime is a difficult one for people who don’t have the resources to provide for their families,” Vice President David Godlewski said. “This helps a little bit to give joy and cheer.”
The bureau, Godlewski said, “is one of the great things about this community. When we step up and take responsibility and help our fellow citizens.”
Similarly, Testcomm LLC donated $7,500. The company was founded 17 years ago and has contributed each year to the Christmas Bureau. “The first job we did was a $200 project,” Jerry Ensminger recalled. “We donated it to the Christmas Fund as a down payment to the community. … It has to do with the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of Spokane.”
Teck American Inc., of Spokane, gave $10,000. Godlewski wrote: “At this time of year, we appreciate the opportunity to provide a bit of cheer for our fellow man, as Washington Irving said: ‘Christmas is a season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.’ ”
Testcomm LLC, of Spokane, gave $7,500. “We are honored to participate in this annual event of community and fellowship,” Ensminger wrote.
Larry Bishop, of Spokane, gave $1,000.
Thomas and Lynn Novotney; Lily May Emert and Annette Sevbert; Ruth and Walt Cummings; Scott, Shannon and Preston Sevigny; Barry and Carole Jones; and Kathryn Ross, all of Spokane, each gave $500.
Carol and Gerorge, of Colbert, gave $300.
Charlotte Campbell, of Spokane, gave $250 in memory of her husband, Bruce, her daughter, Janice, and in honor of the rest of her “large, wonderful family. My only other gifts will be to other charities and my 13 great-grandchildren,” she said.
Gary and Sharon Randall, of Colbert, gave $225 in memory of their parents, Pres and Margaret Cleveland and Clara and Les Randall.
Ellen Krehbiel and Jeff Wasson, of Colbert, sent $200 “in honor of the Wasson family.”
Dennis and Patricia Doyle, of Spokane, gave $200.
Toni Garland and Joan Williams, of Spokane, gave $200, half in memory of Joan’s “dear husband, Roy” and half in memory of Marianne Daily, “who always gave.”
Bob and Gerry Conrad and Scott and Jennifer Marquis, all of Spokane, gave $200, as did an anonymous Deer Park donor.
Ralph and Sandra Laws, of Cheney, gave $165 for Patrick, Steven and Hannah, a 10 percent increase from their donation last year.
Arlene Waters, of Spokane, sent $150.
David McCabe gave $145.35 via Paypal.
Jack and Phyllis Worden, of Spokane, gave $130.
Marie Salisbury, of Spokane, gave $100 “in loving memory of H. Earl Davis from his family.”
Beth, Neil, Michelle and Sophia Schomburg, of Spokane, gave $100 in the name of Dick Schomburg.
Emmett and Marylu Arndt, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “Thanks to the Christmas Bureau and all the wonderful volunteers who make Christmas so special for Spokane.”
Susan Moyer, of Spokane, gave $100. “Thanks for helping those who need it – and a special thank you to all your volunteers,” she wrote.
Other Spokane donors giving $100 were Ed Ellefsen; William and Donna Harsell; Ann Sanders; Esther, Ron and Nancy Westlund; Mary and Richard Schroeder; Steven and Susan Anderson; Adrain and Wanda Nichols; Julie and Jeff Morris; Sandra Hatch; Shirley and Otto Stevens; the Crystal Chandeliers Ballroom Dance Club; MR and Michael Slavens; Geri and F.E. Jim Swope; David and Laura Howe; BN Vets Association; Robert and Peggy Frank; and two anonymous donors.
Edward Looker Jr., of Spokane Valley, donated $100. “Hoping for a wonderful Christmas for everyone, with God’s blessing,” he wrote.
Roy and Joey Schmidt and Rick and Pamela Smith, both of Cheney, each gave $100.
Eileen Carroll, of Spokane Valley, gave $100.
Barry Benoit, of Hauser, gave $100.
J.T. and J.E. Stanley, of Medical Lake, gave $100.
Deb, Pam and Jim Repp, of Spokane Valley, gave $100, writing, “Hoping to make this holiday season a little brighter for those that need a little help.”
Charlotte and Paul Hudson, of Clayton, gave $100.
Cleo Johnson Workland, of Spokane Valley, donated $100 in honor of Carl, Thelma and Durwood Johnson.
Jim and Mary Jane Bailey, of Electric City, Wash., gave $100 in memory of Dick Schomburg, who suggested the Christmas Bureau every year.
Percy Lynch gave $96.80 via Paypal.
Jack and Becky Severinghaus, of Spokane, donated $75 in memory of their parents, WJ and Sally Severinghaus and Dorothy Ruhl.
Skip and Sharon Boyer, of Spokane Valley, gave $75.
J. Casey, and Beverly Winston, both of Colbert, each gave $50.
Carol Wilson and Tony and Sally Faraca, of Spokane Valley, gave $50.
Shirley McKenney, of Spokane Valley, gave $50 in memory of her grandson, Nicholas Clason, who died in July 2011, and her husband of 47 years, Dick McKenney, who died in June.
Tom Sleatz and Judy Walker, of Spokane, gave $50 in memory of Gene Walker and Anita Nicoles.
Other Spokane donors giving $50 were Jeffrey and Judy Koons; Virginia and Willbann Terpening; Catherine Martin; Don and Creta Kunz; Jim and Jackie Vroman; Virginia Robinette; Linda Williamson; Larry and Sandra Neil; Ronald Doyen; and Arian and Ruth Roberts.
Jennifer Stucker, John Moullon, Gary Mundel, and John and Sharon Hopper each gave $48.25 via PayPal.
Timothy Thompson gave $47.95 via PayPal.
Namey and Steve Kiss, of Metaline, sent $40, writing, “Thank you for helping out the community.”
Bruce and Marcia Plewman, of Spokane, gave $35.
Glenis Brantley, of Spokane, gave $30.
Ethel Oatney, of Spokane, also gave $30, writing, “My thanks and appreciation to all the volunteers. God bless you all. Here is my small donation. Hope it helps. All children deserve a gift.”
An anonymous Spokane Valley donor gave $25 in honor of her “dear friend Elizabeth.”
An anonymous donor, of Liberty Lake, gave $25, writing, “Thank you for all you are doing to bring joy to our neighbors and their loved ones.”
Olevia Page, of Spokane; Vickie Borer, of Spokane; and Marilyn and Robert Keen, of Liberty Lake, each gave $25, as did two anonymous Spokane donors.
Robert Potts and an anonymous donor, both of Spokane, each gave $20.
Warren and Beverly Flath, of Spokane Valley, gave $20.
Jane Lacock, of Deer Park, sent $10, writing, “Just a little token to help the children have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Peace, love and joy.”