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Christmas Fund in danger of missing goal

Isabella Huartson, 2, listens to the seventh-grade singers from Sacajawea Middle School run through several Christmas carols to entertain those waiting in line at the Christmas Bureau Monday, Dec. 12, 2016 at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Isabella Huartson, 2, listens to the seventh-grade singers from Sacajawea Middle School run through several Christmas carols to entertain those waiting in line at the Christmas Bureau Monday, Dec. 12, 2016 at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

The Christmas Fund has a long way to go before it hits its fundraising goal, and with Christmas right around the corner, the possibility of hitting the goal looks increasingly uncertain.

The stack of Christmas Fund donations reported today totaled $14,649, given by 69 donors, and ranging from $10 to $2,500.

In all, generous donors in the community have given $412,072.63

Currently, though, the fund is down $80,465.02 from this same time last year, and donations from individuals, businesses and other organizations in the community are desperately needed to help the fund reach its goal.

Money raised through the fund pays for the Christmas Bureau, organized by Catholic Charities Spokane and Volunteers of America.

Since 1945, the Christmas Bureau has spread hope, joy and goodwill to thousands of individuals and families in need each year. The annual program provides grocery store gift certificates, new toys and books for children, and more, so that Christmas may be brighter for those less fortunate.

This year, the bureau assisted 26,012 people. The average gross monthly income per household was $1,330.37. Without the bureau, many children in our area would have gone without anything under the tree on Christmas Day.

Every donation toward the massive endeavor is appreciated.

“We need the community to walk that path with us to make that goal so the miracle of Christmas can come to these families,” said Rob McCann, director of Catholic Charities Spokane. “We get a unique chance at Christmas to be our best selves.”

New donations

Thomas Kasson gave $2,500, writing, “Merry Christmas.”

Bagley Fishing Co. gave $1,000 via PayPal.

Chimney Rock Mortgage also gave $1,000.

The employees at University High School gave $765, writing, “In what has become an annual tradition, the teachers and staff of University High School have dedicated themselves to helping the less fortunate during the holiday season. We are proud to show our spirit as Titans and would like to present you with this donation of $765 to share with the needy in the Spokane area. We commend your efforts, and we wish you the best in reaching this year’s goal.”

Sharon Powell, of Spokane, gave $500, writing, “I feel very privileged to be able to help others through your wonderful work this time of year. Merry Christmas to all.”

Spokane Production Service Lathrop gave $500 via PayPal, as well as an anonymous donor. Walt Cummings, of Spokane, also gave $500.

Another anonymous donor gave $500, writing, “This donation is in loving memory of Don Kelly, our father and grandfather, who taught us to live and give for others. Thanks for all you do.”

Wilbur Yates, of Spokane, gave $450.

Christine and Chris Ashenbrener, of Spokane, gave $300, writing, “Our grandchildren, Anna, Evan, Eric and Quinley, wish for every child to have a warm meal, a book and a toy for Christmas.”

The Morales Boys gave $300, as well as Gerald Rein, of Spokane. Les and Patti Whitbeck also gave $300 via PayPal.

Albert Materi, of Spokane, gave $250, writing, “Daily I remember all the people a little less fortunate. All are in my daily prayers. Please hold your head high and never give up believing a better tomorrow will happen.” Micah Dunlap also gave $250 via PayPal.

Larry and Jeanne Leach, of Spokane, gave $200, writing, “I want to carry on the legacy of our mom, Helen Clark, with her annual donation to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund. Thank you for all the good you do.”

The Jacky Family, of Deer Park, gave $200, writing, “In memory of Mary Jo Christopherson, Kenith Bonner, and Nancy Brandley, and a special welcome to our family Casandra ‘Moviestar’ West-Jacky. Merry Christmas to all staff and volunteers.”

Gary and Vicki Erickson gave $200, as well as an anonymous donor, who wrote, “Thank you for providing such a worthy cause for the families and children of our community.” Eileen Hargrove, and William and Georgette Savitz also gave $200.

Charles and Janet Watkins, of Newport, gave $150.

Ralph, Sandra and Jason Laws, of Cheney, gave $150 “for Patrick, Steven, Eli and Hannah.”

Alfred and Carol Stopp gave $150, writing, “We have been so blessed. A merry Christmas to all.” Gregg Woods also gave $150.

Chris Powell and Ruth Reynolds gave $115, writing, “Thank you to the volunteers who make the Christmas Bureau run! Please accept this donation in memory of Hazel Powell, and Bill and Elaine Reynolds.”

Philip and Brit Penberthy gave $100 “In memory of our parents.”

George and Pamela Young gave $100 in memory of Daniel and Adeline Young.

James Sizer, of Spokane, gave $100 in memory of Sgt. Charles H. Sizer.

Marianne Connelly, of Spokane, gave $100 “In memory of my friend Maureen Johnson.”

Dorothy and Bob Yohe, of Spirit Lake, gave $100, writing, “In memory of our son, Kenneth Anderson. Thanks for all the good work done for those in need.”

Terry Fowler gave $100 via PayPal in honor of Patti Fowler.

The Alexanders gave $100, writing, “Please accept this $100 donation toward this annual worthy cause making Spokane a better place.”

The following donors also gave $100: Mary Scarpelli, of Spokane Valley; Roger Erhart, of Spokane Valley; Inland Northwest Truck Claims, of Spokane Valley; Steve and Frances Menzel, of Spokane; Jerry E. and Joyce A. Fielding, of Spokane; Ellen Ostheller, of Spokane; Richard and Karen Steele, of Spokane; Edmund and Kathie Mcgonigle, of Spokane; Jerry and Rozanne Winters, of Spokane; William Stanley via PayPal; Judy Madden via PayPal; Michael Giampietri via PayPal; Les Hunt; Dennis Fredrickson; and an anonymous donor.

Anne M. Franke gave $79.

An anonymous donor in Pullman gave $75.

William and Wendy Budge, of Spokane, gave $50, writing, “Enclosed is a check for $50 which we hope will assist you in reaching your annual goal.”

The following donors also gave $50: Dorothy McMurtery, of Spokane, via PayPal;

Linda and Stephen Howe, of Spokane; Marc Ackermann, via PayPal; Andrew Caster; and an anonymous donor.

Sharon and Rey Scheinke, of Deer Park, gave $35.

An anonymous donor gave $35 “In memory of mom and dad.”

Jessie Latimer gave $30 via PayPal.

Judd and Jeanne D. Case, of Spokane, gave $25.

Jane Lacock, of Deer Park, gave $20, writing, “Here’s my donation to help someone have a better Christmas.”

Alan and Carol Fisher, of Cheney, gave $10, as well as Steve Borchard, via PayPal.