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Generous donors give needed boost to Christmas Bureau

By Nina Culver The Spokesman-Review

Donations for the Christmas Bureau have been coming in slowly even as the doors opened last week for the effort to provide new toys and books to thousands of children for Christmas.

The thought that maybe this year is first time in over a decade that donors won’t make the goal of $525,000 has been lurking in the background. But more Christmas generosity is taking hold as a huge surge in donations over the weekend pushed the balance to 51 percent of the goal.

New donations of $81,277 have brought the tally to $267,936.95.

A large part of that bump is due to a donation of $35,000 from Travis Pattern and Foundry, Inc. President Travis W. Garske wrote in a letter that the company donated the money it would have otherwise used to throw a Christmas party for its employees.

“We hope we can help make Christmas a little brighter for some Spokane families,” Garske wrote. “We wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a great new year in 2018.”

The generous giving continued with donations of $10,000 from Hotstart Manufacturing in Spokane, and $8,000 from Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists of Spokane.

The Spokane Valley Eagles Aerie 3433 also helped out in a big way, sending a check for $5,350 that they collected all year long by hosting raffles, dinners, auctions and drawings. “Thanks for all that you do to help the needy families of this region,” the group wrote in a short letter. “Our motto is ‘People helping people.’ We’re glad we were able to help.”

Cliff and Gina Kelly of Spokane donated $5,000 “to help those that have fallen on hard times,” they wrote. “It is our pleasure to put smiles on the children’s faces at this time of the year.” Hal Dixon of Spokane contributed $2,500, as did Thomas Kasson of Spokane. Justin and Tamie Voelker of Spokane Valley gave $1,000, as did an anonymous donor from Hayden, Idaho.

Jack and Pat Russell of Spokane Valley gave $650. “Wishing the Bureau volunteers and families they serve a joyous Christmas,” they wrote. The Association of Retired Avista Employees donated $552. The Jones family of Spokane Valley gave $500 in honor of Marybelle, Evelyn and Robert.

BPS Supply Co. of Spokane contributed $500. “From all of us at BPS Supply Company, have a blessed holiday season and a wonderful New Year!” said a note signed by the employees. Robert and Claudia Jones of Kettle Falls gave $500. Dean Lynch and Michael Flannery of Spokane donated $500. “We are happy to help with the good work you do,” they wrote.

Joe and Pam Ridlington of Mead sent $400 along with a note that read: “Thanks to all the volunteers who make this so successful.”

Wes and Dorothy Newbill of Otis Orchards sent $300. Steve and Karen Heaps of Spokane Valley contributed $300. “Thank you, volunteers,” they wrote. Pam Ness of Coeur d’Alene gave $300, as did Celia Garceau of Spokane. An anonymous Spokane donor also sent $300.

James McGranahan of Spokane Valley donated $255 in memory of Sheila. “Wishing all a very merry/blessed holiday season,” he wrote. Lynn and Alvin Schmidt of Spokane Valley sent $250.

Diane Weber of Spokane gave $250. Mary and Charles Kerr of Spokane donated $250. Nancy and Scott Stowell of Spokane gave $200, as did Pete Warnick of Spokane. Carl and Dennie Crowe of Spokane gave $200. “With our thanks for all you do for our city, our community, our home,” they wrote.

Jack and Phyllis Worden of Spokane gave $150, as did an anonymous Spokane donor. Sarah Wasicek of Spokane donated $150, wishing everyone “sunshine and roses and hockey pucks.” Jean Jalufka of Spokane donated $150 in honor of the Loucks family - Karen, Tim, Avery and Carson. Gary and Kathryn James of Nine Mile Falls gave $150 in honor of their parents who died recently, Mickey James and Richard and Mary Hunt.

The following people made donations of $100: Keith and Sara Gehr, Vernon and Lois Thomason and Alicia and Phillip Brown, all of Spokane; Don and Marilyn Lippman of Spokane Valley; Suzanne Grainger and Mary Ann Drewniak, both of Spokane; Patricia Dretke of Kettle Falls; Dianne Bongarts, Kenneth and Helen Evans and Judith and Noble Hundley, all of Spokane; Mary Cameron of Spokane Valley; Steven and Bev Booras, Dorothy Babcock and Jose and Maria Cepeda, all of Spokane;

Two anonymous Spokane donors also gave $100. One of them wrote: “Wishing everybody involved a very Merry Christmas and the hope for a peaceful 2018 for all.” Raland and Cindi John of Spokane sent $100 along with a note that read: “We are very pleased to donate once again to the Christmas Fund 2017. Thank you for keeping it local and for supporting our local community and those in need.”

Dudley Mizoguchi and Jody Leifer donated $100 in memory of John Traynor and Rae and Charles McCain. Col. Harold Wilson of Spokane gave $100, writing “Great work by the Bureau. Merry Christmas.” Denise Copenhaver of Liberty Lake sent $100 along with a note that read: “Please use this to bless others this Christmas season.” Pam and Randy of Spokane contributed $100.

Donna Isaak of Spokane Valley gave $100 in memory of her parents, Emil and Leona Isaak. An anonymous Loon Lake donor also sent $100. Tom and Bette Brattebo of Liberty Lake sent $100 with a note that said: “Once again, we are pleased to contribute to this year’s Christmas Fund.”

An anonymous Valleyford donor sent $100 in memory of Don and Lois Johnson. “Thanks for all the volunteers who help to make Christmas magical for so many,” the donor wrote. Chris Vandervert and his family in Colville donated $100 in memory of Don Vandervert at his favorite time of year. “To all who work so hard for so many, may God bless you all,” he wrote.

Marsha Hansen of Spokane contributed $60. Barry and Deborah Cross gave $50 in memory of Ryan Cross to ensure “all children that can use help receive it in hopes they can have a very Merry Christmas.” An anonymous Spokane donor gave $50 in memory of Cathy. An anonymous Spokane Valley donor also gave $50. Jean Flechel of Spokane donated $50. Rosemary and John Olson of Colbert contributed $50.

Jean Hodges of Spokane donated $50. “For years I have wished to do this,” she wrote. “This year the Lord blessed me with a little extra.” William Phipps donated $50 in memory of Shirley Phipps. Kate Quinn of Spokane gave $50, as did Marylyn Cordell of Hayden, Idaho. Nancy Hood of Greenacres contributed $50. “Thanks for continuing this great service in our community,” she wrote. An anonymous donor gave $50, as did Wileva Damon of Spokane.

Thelma Ostby of Chattaroy gave $40 in memory of her sister, Mabel Bagnell, who died recently. “Thanks for all you do for the needy,” she wrote. Teri and Robert Maurice of Spokane donated $30, as did Norman and Ann English of Spokane. Joyce Thompson of Spokane gave $25, as did Sharon and John Hopper of Spokane. An anonymous Spokane donor sent $25, writing “Merry Christmas to all.”

Alfred Ungaro of Spokane gave $15. Helen MacGregor of Spokane contributed $10. Christina Karistan of Spokane gave $10.

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