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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Christmas Bureau makes life a little less difficult for families

Angela Johnstone, right, and Shannon Hurley, volunteers from Cenex ZipTrip stores, bag toys for a client of the Christmas Bureau Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2016 at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
By Chelsea Bannach Correspondent

The Christmas Bureau helped Lonnie Adams, 52, provide for his family this Christmas.

Adams, a forklift operator, has helped raise five children who aren’t his biological kids.

They’re the grandkids of his longtime girlfriend, a shift leader at a fast food restaurant, who he’s been with since 1993. Her daughter is a drug addict, and the children’s parents gave up their parental rights.

The couple didn’t want the children to end up in the foster system, so they took on the responsibility of caring for them and got custody.

“That’s better than the state taking them,” Adams said. “All five of them got to stay together.”

At one point, they had five children in the home. Now, two of them are grown and there are three living in the Adams home. They’ve had two of the kids since they were born.

The remaining kids are 10, 12 and 15.

“You don’t ever envision your life like that,” Adams said, adding that he wouldn’t change anything. “You do what you’ve got to do, life is difficult, even without this.”

After he visited the Christmas Bureau, he met one of the grown kids outside. Jessica Phillips, 20, is now expecting a child of her own. She said she was happy to grow up in the home she did.

“I couldn’t imagine being with anybody else,” she said.

At the bureau, recipients in need of help get grocery store gift certificates, new gifts for children, books and more. Donations to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund go to help families like Adams’ during the holiday season.

“The gifts were magnificent,” said Adams, joyful.

New donations

Cochrane & Company gave $7,500.

Ronald P. Douglas, William D. Eden, Marc A. Phillips, Daniel B. DeRuyter, Ryan M. Douglas, Brandi Morhardt, Brent T. Stanyer, Diane J. Kiepe, Erik A. Kukuk, Anita Anderson, Sandy J. Saty, Jordan C. Urness, Tina Z. Whitley with Law Offices of Douglas, Eden, Phillips, DeRuyter & Stanyer gave $6,000, writing, “A very big ‘thank you’ to all of you for your good work in making the holidays a special time for so many people. We are delighted to again join with others in the community to support the Christmas Fund and help spread joy and goodwill to families in need. During this holiday season of giving, it is our great privilege to contribute $6,000 to the fund.”

Moulton Wealth Management Inc. gave $5,000, writing, “With great pleasure and hope we again contribute to your worthy cause and hope it brings joy to many needy families. It would not be possible without our wonderful clients, excellent staff and especially our very special Mother. God Bless and Merry Christmas to all.”

Lanzce G. Douglass Inc. gave $5,000.

Cecil Nuxoll, of Spokane, gave $4,500, writing, “May this gift from our family warm the hearts of many in our community and provide them a merry Christmas.”

Kimmel Athletic Supply Co. gave $3,000, writing, “Happy holidays from Kimmel staff.”

Don and Donna Rockstrom gave $1,500, writing, “We are honored to participate in this wonderful community tradition. Merry Christmas.”

Donna J. Hares, of Spokane, gave $1,000 in memory of Donald Hares.

Wayne and Mary Paupst of Best Western Plus City Center gave $1,000.

Randall and Laura Pflugrad, of Spokane, gave $500, writing, “Thank you for all the good you do and the people you help.”

Tom and Tamara Bryant, of Spokane, gave $500. The McElligotts, of Spokane, also gave $500.

Melissa Tipke, of Spokane, gave $500, writing, “In memory of my husband, Jim Tipke. Thank you for all that you do to help the Spokane community.”

Jeff and Kim Brown, of Mead, gave $500, writing, “In memory of Thomas E. Busch, Kim’s dad, who passed this year.”

Linda Ashlock, of Liberty Lake, gave $500, writing, “Thank you to all. Happy holidays and peace in the New Year.”

Georgene Patten, Barbara Cunningham, Herb Patten, Rich Patten gave $500 in memory of Les Patten.

An anonymous donor gave $500, “with the hope that it will help brighten the holiday season and provide some joy in the lives of those in need during this special time of year.”

BPS Supply Co. gave $500, writing, “All the employees at BPS Supply Co. give again to this fund in memory of Jeffrey Strange. Our thanks to all the volunteers who make it a success.”

An anonymous donor gave $500, writing, “Over the years I’ve thought about donating to your cause but never got around to it. This year, our family had its share of unusual difficulties. But through it all, we were thankful that we were not worrying about any financial impact as my husband has always had a good, steady job. So this year and hopefully many more to come, we’re donating to help others who also experience difficulties but are not as fortunate as we are.”

Mike and Carol Wilson gave $500, writing, “We give thanks to be able to share.”

An anonymous donor gave $500.

Bob and Judy Lee, of Spokane, gave $400, writing, “In memory of our grandson, Austin McKenzie, parents, Ken and Alice Smith and mother, Catherine Lee.”

An anonymous donor gave $325, writing, “What you do for the people of our area! It’s fantastic!”

Nancy Edwards, of Spokane Valley, gave $300, as did J & J Drilling, Inc.

An anonymous donor gave $300, writing, “In loving memory of Don Kelly, who volunteered at the bureau for many years to help make Christmas brighter for the less fortunate. God bless all the volunteers!”

Gini and Tom Burns also gave $300, writing, “Thanks to the many volunteers who contribute so much so that others in need will have a nice Christmas.”

Outlook Vision, Dr. Nils W. Ohlsen, of Liberty Lake, gave $250.

An anonymous donor gave $250, writing, “Thank you so much for helping those who are so needy to have a nicer holiday.” Richard Morris, of Spokane Valley, also gave $200, as did Carl and Anna Rabe, of Spokane, Robin Gavelin, Janet and Kirk Bierwagen, and an anonymous donor. Pat Kile, of Spokane, also gave $200, writing, “In memory of my husband, Bert L. Kile.”

Georgene Patten, of Spokane, gave $180, writing, “To recognize Mick Soss, a volunteer for 18 years at the bureau. Thank you, Mick, for making a difference. Mick and my husband, Les Patten, had so many wonderful years together as championship doubles partners. Thank you Spokesman-Review, Catholic Charities, and Volunteers of America for giving the Spokane community an opportunity to be part of this Christmas Fund. Blessings and thank you to all the great volunteers.”

The Vinje sisters – Prasti Vinje Purdum, Astrid Vinje (Bush), and Michelle Vinje (Petty) – gave $175.

Jon and Judy Scott, of Spokane Valley, gave $150, as did Diane Weber, of Spokane, and an anonymous donor. Bob and Sharon Mellis, of Spokane, also gave $150, writing, “Blessings to you for the wonderful work done to spread joy to others.”

The associates at Umpqua Bank gave $140.

Robert and Carol Christianson, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “In loving memory of my mom, Marcia Sather.”

Gratia Hasness, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “Thanks to all you do. Please accept this donation in honor of Terry and Paul Giordanella, who give so much for animals and people in need.”

Richard and Christy Pospahala, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “Thank you for volunteering and helping others for those of us who are unable.”

Connie and Gordon Jassman, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “Please accept this check for the Christmas Fund in memory of our two mothers, Hertha and Hazel, who passed away this summer six weeks apart.”

Sara Fortier, of Spokane, gave $100 in memory of Gary Fortier and another $100 “for Coach Lisa, her family, and the Lady Zags!”

Erlinda Fry, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!”

Dennis and Bernice Nelson, of Nine Miles Falls, gave $100 “for the children.” Richard and Elaine Fotland, of Newman Lake, also gave $100, as did Ray Banasik, Louise Pilcher, Mary Ann Drewniak, Naomi Franklin, Armstrong & O’Brien LLP, Jennifer Wengeler, John and Sharon Sutton, of Spokane, William and Eileen Dittman, of Spokane, Tracey McHenry and Brian Donahue, of Spokane, and an anonymous donor.

Susan Richardson gave $100, writing, “Thank you for all you do in bringing joy for the holidays to so many. This donation is in memory of my husband, Douglas W. Richardson, who supported the fund for many years. Merry Christmas.”

An anonymous donor gave $100, writing, “In memory of Bill Kuch, who contributed to the fund by buying toys through The White Elephant for many years.”

Kerry and Joan Orcutt, of Spokane Valley, gave $50. E.J. and Patricia Busch-Stewart, of Spokane, also gave $50, as well as Dan Ellis and Joan Casey, Alex and Louise Vanderwilde, and James and Joan Burris. Margie Heller, of Cheney also gave $50.

Glen and Kim Taylor, of Spokane Valley, gave $50, writing, “Thank you for all your good work.” Kate and Jim Jones, of Spokane, also gave $50, writing, “Merry Christmas to all.”

An anonymous donor gave $50 in memory of Cathy. Another anonymous donor gave $50 in memory of Joe and Irene Lynch. Jody Leifer gave $50 in memory of her mother, Rae McCain. Dudley Mizoguchi gave $50 in memory of John Traynor.

An anonymous donor gave $50, writing, “Thank you for all you do for our community.”

Harry Owhi, of Coulee Dam, gave $40.

Jim and Sandie Lee Donahue, of Spokane Valley, gave $35, writing, “Thank you for giving hope and help each year. Merry Christmas to all.”

An anonymous donor gave $35.

Tim and Jacquelynn Henney, of Ponderay, gave $30.

David and Judith Morton, of Spokane, gave $25. An anonymous donor also gave $25 in memory of Don Morley.

Camie English, of Spokane Valley, gave $20. Nels Nelson, of Liberty Lake, also gave $20.