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

‘We want to support Spokane’: Garco Construction digging deep this year to help Christmas Bureau

In front, Clancy Welsh, Garco Construction president, In back, left to right, Jamie Welsh, vice president, and Hollis Barnett, vice president. Garco Construction usually donates $25,000 to the Christmas Bureau every year, but this year they are more than doubling their donation.  (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Nina Culver The Spokesman-Review

Garco Construction has been a faithful contributor to the Christmas Bureau for decades. In recent years, the company’s annual donation of $25,000, usually sent around Christmas, has provided an important boost to the Bureau’s fundraising each time. This year, however, the company is willing to contribute much more than that.

“As we finally approach the end of 2020, we realize how truly blessed we are to have such a great team here at Garco Construction, Inc.,” wrote company president Clancy Welsh. “While the construction industry has been impacted, many other industries and families have been decimated by the impacts of COVID-19. 2020 is a year that we need to reach deep and give back to those who have not been as fortunate as we.

“Garco Construction would like to make an initial contribution of $20,000 to help bolster early participation. We have asked our employees to dig deep and contribute this year and we will match all employee contributions up to an additional $20,000. If we attain this goal, we will be sending a total of $60,000 to the Christmas Bureau for the 2020 Christmas Fund.

“We appreciate everything you and so many others do to make the holiday season a bit brighter for those less fortunate.”

Garco’s annual donation is usually a mix of employee contribution and company matching money, said Welsh in an interview. He said he felt it was important to do more this year. “We know how challenging it’s been,” he said. “It’s been, obviously, unprecedented. We figured we’d try something a little different.”

Construction work was shut down in March and April, but then the work was declared essential and crews were able to get back on the job, Welsh said. That enabled his company to stay on strong footing, but other businesses and their employees were not as fortunate.

Giving back to the community is important to Welsh. His father, Tim Welsh, founded the construction company. But before that, Tim Welsh grew up poor in north Spokane, the son of a single mother after his father died when he was 14.

“We’ve been very fortunate to do a lot of work in the Spokane area, so we want to support Spokane,” Welsh said.

Employees have already been stepping forward to make donations, Welsh said. Their donations will be tallied on Dec. 15 and sent to the Christmas Bureau along with the company’s matching dollars. Together, the employees and Welsh will help ensure a very Merry Christmas for families and children in the Spokane area.


The fundraising effort to collect $535,000 to fund the Christmas Bureau has reached an important milestone, topping the halfway point to the goal. There’s now less than two weeks to go until Christmas, but there’s still enough time for the community to rally and reach the goal. New donations of $25,285 have brought the year-to-date total to $272,305.33.

Garco Construction, of Spokane, donated $20,000. Bill and Sharon Bronson, of Spokane, donated $1,250.

Judith Hudson, of Spokane, gave $500, writing “May each of us be in someone’s thoughts, in someone’s heart and in someone’s prayers.”

Nick and Leslie Zilka, of Liberty Lake, gave $400. “We miss the Bureau this year,” they wrote. “For five years we’ve enjoyed volunteering. It really makes it feel like Christmas. We’ve doubled our contribution.”

Mike and Rita Gibson, of Spokane, sent $300. Tom and Cathy Adams, along with Dale and Stephanie Szabo, gave $250. “Please accept our donation in memory of our beloved mother and grandmother, Adah Boyles,” they wrote. “Adah loved Christmas. She enjoyed the spirit of giving. It brought her so much joy.”

Michael and Linda Holbrook, of Spokane, donated $200, as did Robert and Geraldine Conrad, also of Spokane. David and Laurie Eash, of Spokane, gave $200. Lowell Severud, of Spokane, sent $200. An anonymous Cheney donor gave $200. Bob and Glenda Thompson, of Spokane Valley, sent $200.

Fredricka Jenkins and Roy Carpenter, of Spokane, gave $100, writing “Thank you for doing this important work for our community!” Linda and Gary Faire, of Spokane Valley, contributed $100. John and Delores Skelton, of Spokane, donated $100. An anonymous Spokane donor gave $100. Kathleen Brown, of Spokane, sent $100, as did John and Kathy Olsufka, of Spokane. Judy Gebhard, of Spokane, gave $100, as did Lewis Brown, also of Spokane.

Cynthia LeBlanc, of Greenacres, donated $100, writing “Happy holidays! Many blessings in this crazy 2020!” Bruce and Nancy Wendelburg, of Spokane Valley, gave $100.

David and Eva McChesney, of Spokane, contributed $60.

Rudy and Norma Behrens, of Spokane, sent $50, writing “I miss volunteering at the Christmas Bureau this year. I hope to be back next year.” Bob and Pat Williams, of Colbert, contributed $50. Robert and Judith Gross, of Medical Lake, donated $50. Gary and Cathy Waterhouse, of Spokane Valley, gave $50. An anonymous Medical Lake donor contributed $50. Grace Hamilton, of Spokane, donated $50.

Jeffrey and Barbara Larsen, of Spokane, gave $25. “Every child deserves a toy at Christmas!” they wrote. “We are glad to contribute this modest amount to help with toy vouchers, in part because we are so gratified to be able to celebrate our son’s amazing (and ongoing) recovery from last summer’s traumatic brain injury! A merry holiday season to all.”

Editor’s note: This story was changed on Dec. 13, 2020 to correct the spelling of Welsh.