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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Local companies make the Christmas Bureau run smoother through in-kind donations

By Chelsea Bannach Correspondent

The line at the Christmas Bureau can get long, but recipients are treated to musical entertainment as they wait by a variety of performers who donate their talents to make the holidays a little merrier for those in need.

It’s yet another way Christmas Bureau organizers strive to create a festive holiday atmosphere at the event, which takes place through Dec. 17.

Hoffman Music, a Spokane business that has been a staple in the community for 103 years, loaned a full sound system to bureau organizers.

In the past, organizers have cobbled together some basic equipment, but the loan of superior equipment from Hoffman Music will improve the set-up and sound for entertainers who donate their talents, said Judy Lee, special events coordinator with Catholic Charities Spokane.

“We contacted Hoffman and they didn’t hesitate to provide this for our event,” she said.

Dave Kenagy, general manager for Hoffman Pro Systems, said they typically choose a couple charity events to do during the holiday season, and have been providing the equipment to the bureau for a few years now because of the widespread impact the event has on the community.

“It helps a lot of people and we appreciate what they do, so we figured that was the least we could do,” Kenagy said of the bureau.

The company started out selling pianos, and is now a full-service musical instrument store. Hoffman Pro Systems designs, sells and installs audio and video systems around Spokane, including at the Bing Theater, Davenport Grand Hotel, Spokane Arena, Spokane Convention Center and more.

They’re just one of many local companies that help make the Christmas Bureau happen every year through in-kind donations. Monetary donations from the community to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund pay for the event, which is organized by Catholic Charities Spokane and Volunteers of America.

The Sacred Heart Catholic Church Men’s Schola was one group that donated their time and talent to serve recipients and volunteers at the bureau through music Friday.

“It was nice to see people in line who were enjoying it,” said Jeff Philips, of the schola. “I feel like we’re adding a little Christmas joy during the holiday season.”

The group aims to serve and engage others through prayerful, spirited music.

“When people are engaging in song, prayer is best heard, ” he said.

Philips said God gives everyone gifts they can share with others. For the schola, that gift is the ability to express faith through musical talent.

“There is joy in sharing,” Philips said.


Avista gave $5,000 on behalf of its employees, writing, “Each year during the holidays, we come together as a community to make sure that families can celebrate with the warmth and joy of food and gifts. The Fund brings together a wonderful partnership of community resources and volunteers that truly exemplifies the spirit of the season. We are all fortunate to live in a region that cares for families, children and our more vulnerable neighbors who are in need of a helping hand. Many thanks to you and The Spokesman-Review for your continued commitment to this holiday tradition of helping others.”

Dennis and Janice McMann, of Sacheen Lake, gave $650.

Don and Janet Hart, of Spokane, gave $300.

Mike and Kathy Eaton, of Spokane, gave $250 “to honor and thank everyone at Cancer Care Northwest. Merry Christmas!”

Daniel and Kathleen Johnson, of Spokane, gave $250.

Michael and Susan Hawkins, of Post Falls, gave $200, writing, “Thank you for providing joy and hope to children and their families. Bless you all!”

Carolyn and James Craven, of Spokane, gave $200.

Harriet and William Plucker III, of Spokane, gave $200, as did an anonymous donor.

Michael and Doreen Lewis, of Spokane Valley, gave $139, writing, “A special thanks to all at the Christmas Bureau for a job well done.”

Ronald Loomis, of Colbert, gave $100.

Ronald and Mary Rand, of Coolin, Idaho, gave $100.

Dave and Karen Trejbal, of Rockford, gave $100.

Michael and Valerie Adams, of Spokane, gave $100.

Verna Winton, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “Merry Christmas to all.”

Jon and Judy Gardner, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “Thanks for your good work.”

Also making $100 donations were: Annette LaCombe, Jim and Jackie Vroman, Steven and Susan Anderson, Carol Lippman, Mr. and Mrs. Don Lippman, and Jim and Margo Walesby.

Tim Bristow, of Spokane, gave $75.

Steve Reed, and Phyllis Thayer, of Spokane, gave $50 each.

Kurt and Jean Flechel, of Spokane, gave $50, writing, “Thank you for this wonderful service to the community.”

Ann Carey and Patty Rabel, of Spokane, gave $50, writing “Please accept this, our 19th donation to the Christmas Fund in memory of our dad, Ken Rabel.”

Phillip Schumaker, of Spokane, gave $50.

Two anonymous donors gave $50.

Marilyn Miller, of Spokane, gave $35, writing, “Many thanks to all the volunteers who make the lives of others a little brighter this Christmas season!”

Margot Wilson, of Spokane Valley, gave $25, writing “This gift is in remembrance of my husband, who passed away 10 years ago on Dec. 24.”

An anonymous donor gave $10.

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