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Spokane does it again: Christmas Fund tops $535,000 fundraising goal

Runa Hubbard, who was almost 2 years old when this photo was taken in December 2019, soaked in the Christmas Bureau. The generosity of Spokane came through again this year to surpass the fundraising goal of the beloved local charity that donates gifts, food, books and more to people who need Christmas help.  (Libby Kamrowski)
Runa Hubbard, who was almost 2 years old when this photo was taken in December 2019, soaked in the Christmas Bureau. The generosity of Spokane came through again this year to surpass the fundraising goal of the beloved local charity that donates gifts, food, books and more to people who need Christmas help. (Libby Kamrowski)
By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

There are still a couple more days to go until Christmas, but the residents of the Spokane area have once again come through, pushing donations supporting the Christmas Bureau above the $535,000 goal to pay for the food vouchers, toys and books handed out this month. As of Thursday, the total stands at $554,124.19 and donations will continue to be tallied through Wednesday.

Just as it takes hundreds of donors to pay for the Bureau, it also takes hundreds of volunteers to make it run. With the Bureau in a bigger space and more socially distanced this year, even more volunteers were needed than usual and the community stepped up to fill the need.

Sue Cain was one of the dozens of new volunteers who signed up to help. She is retired from a career overseeing education and recreation programs in federal prisons, and told her friend, Betty Glasser, that she was looking for volunteer opportunities. Glasser, a regular volunteer at the Bureau, recommended Cain sign up as well. “I thought it sounded like a good organization,” she said.

Cain signed up for six days at the Bureau, doing line control for a couple of days and then spending the rest of her time at the front door, double-checking that people provided either proof of COVID vaccination or proof of a negative COVID PCR test.

She said most people were prepared and understanding of the requirements, which were in place because of a mandate from Governor Jay Inslee regulating large events. Cain said people were just overwhelmingly grateful that the Bureau was able to run this year, after being forced to go virtual last year.

“For the most part, it was a very positive experience,” she said. “I’m a very social person. I have no problems meeting new people.”

She was in a different area than her friend Glasser, but the two did have lunch together a couple of days. Cain said she enjoyed the experience so much that she intends to come back next year. “It’s a great program,” she said. “I’m really grateful that we have something like that in our community.”


New donations of $64,152.09 have brought the year-to-date total to $554,124.19, eclipsing the goal of $535,000.

Cochrane & Company, of Spokane, donated $10,000. “Cochrane & Company is once again thrilled to be able to contribute to this worthwhile cause,” wrote Linda Dykes. “This is one of our favorite charities to donate to because of the amount of people in our community that benefit. All of us at Cochrane & Company extend our thanks for the many volunteers that make this happen.”

Ibex Flooring LLC, of Spokane, donated $6,000. “Thanks for all you do!” wrote owners Nathan and Ashli Myers.

Justus Bag Company Inc., of Spokane Valley, donated $5,000. “As we all are aware, 2021 has been a year full of extremes and challenges,” wrote Darin Justus. “So much has happened to our city and country it is just devastating. This year, however, we are blessed, once again, to be able to contribute to the Christmas Fund. So, in honor of ‘Curly’ and Dorothy Justus, we are happy to enclose $5,000 to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund. Merry Christmas to all!”

Mike and Sue Altringer, of Spokane, gave $3,000.

Nicholas Paget sent $2,500 via PayPal on behalf of the Alliant Bond Department. Shirley Pantaleo gave $2,000.

Michael and Virginia Berg, of Spokane, gave $1,000. “We are blessed to give to those who need help this Christmas,” they wrote. “Thank you for making this happen each year.” Two sisters, of Spokane Valley, sent $1,000, writing “We want to thank all the wonderful people involved in the Christmas Fund. We give in memory of mom, dad, Peggy, Rick and Craig. Merry Christmas.” Logan Goulet donated $1,000 via PayPal, as did Glenn Breen.

Michael and Susan Livingston, of Spokane, contributed $1,000, writing “Thank you for all your good work.” The Charlie and Kathy Watson Family Fund at Innovia Foundation gave $1,000. John Altberg sent $1,000 via PayPal, writing “During these difficult times the need is great and the presence of this Bureau and its many dedicated volunteers is a continual testament to the culture of generosity to be found in our community,” he wrote.

The Hendershot Family Charitable Fund sent $1,000. Paul Reamer gave $1,000 via PayPal, as did Larry Hitchcock. Dorothy Brown, of Spokane Valley, donated $1,000.

Dennis McMann sent $542 via PayPal. Libby and Matt Pugel, of Spokane, donated $521.

Roger and Judith Paine, of Spokane, donated $500. “This donation is to honor our dearest sister ‘Sammy,’ a hometown girl who passed away in August of this year from a long battle of lung disease,” they wrote. “She is in our hearts and will never be forgotten! She loved her family ‘To the moon and back.’ Thank you for all you do. Merry Christmas!” An anonymous donor gave $500 via PayPal “in loving memory of Clint and Betty Corliss and their daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

Linda Ashlock, of Liberty Lake, sent $500. “Thank you all!!” she wrote. “Merry Xmas!” Christine Carroll, of Spokane, gave $500. Dennis Hughes, of Deer Park, donated $500. Stephen Darling, of Spokane, contributed $500. Paul and Leslie Turner, of Spokane, gave $500 “in memory of Lorraine Turner and Les Olson. Thank you for your efforts! Happy holidays to all!”

Dr. and Mrs. Richard Steury, of Liberty Lake, gave $500. James Bankston, of Spokane, contributed $500. Daniel Johnson, of Post Falls, sent $500. An anonymous donor sent $500 via PayPal “in memory of Phil Schauble, Hank Kaufman, and Milton Schauble. These honorable men were known for their strong faith and family values. Although they will be sorely missed this Christmas, there is comfort in knowing they are amongst good company.”

Dennis and Donna Kelly donated $500 via PayPal “in memory of Don Kelly, longtime Christmas Bureau volunteer.” Jess and Anne Walter, of Spokane, gave $500 via PayPal, as did David McCabe. Patricia Kamerer donated $500 via PayPal.

Janice Darc, of Coeur d’Alene, donated $400. An anonymous Spokane donor sent $400, writing “Once again we are so grateful for the wonderful Christmas Bureau! I had the honor to volunteer one day this year – what an amazing group of people and wonderful service to the community.” Jennifer and Jeremy Heimbigner gave $400 via PayPal.

William and Nancy Henry, of Spokane, gave $300 “in memory of our parents, Bo and Mary Henry and Robert and Marian Heglar. Thank you for all you do!!” The DeFoe Family, of Spokane, sent $300, writing “Thank you for all you do!” Lorraine Burghard, of Moses Lake, gave $300 “in memory of husband, daughter Vicki and son Rusty; he was called to heaven this past April.”

Gini, Tom and Maggie Burns, of Spokane, donated $300, writing “Our Christmas Fund donation this year is sent in memory of Chuck and Ellen Robey.” Elaine Vandervert, of Chattaroy, gave $300. “I’m sending this in honor of my mother, who always made Christmas special, even though we had so little,” she wrote. “Thank you for making Christmas special for so many others!”

Rose and Bob Milhelm, of Spokane, donated $300 “in honor of Brigid Krause’s years of service to the Christmas Bureau.”

Wilbur Yates, of Spokane, donated $250. The Baird Foundation, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, donated $250 as a 50 percent match for a donation made by their employee Brett Hober. “We appreciate your organization’s dedication to your community during these unprecedented times,” wrote foundation director Audrey Warner. Sylvia Oliver donated $250 via PayPal. “With gratitude for the work the Spokane Christmas Bureau does for needy families throughout our region, especially during these challenging times,” she wrote.

The Little Spokane Investment Club, of Spokane, gave $250. Jack and Norma Snead, of Spokane, sent $250. Roseann and Mike Lemberger, of Spokane, donated $250 “in appreciation of Brigid Krause’s many years of service on behalf of the Christmas Bureau.” An anonymous donor gave $250 via PayPal. Linda and Dick Moeller sent $250 via PayPal, writing “Linda and Dick are fortunate and thankful to be able to hopefully help others.”

Jamie Harris donated $250 via PayPal, writing “Donated in memory of Cleo Harris and Velma Robinson, our mother and grandmother who loved the spirit of Christmas and created for us incredible memories.” Dan and Kristen Edgar sent $250 via PayPal, as did David Maccini. Timothy Devlin gave $250 via PayPal.

John and Sherry Gaiser, of Spokane, donated $210. Chris Powell and Ruth Reynolds donated $210 via PayPal “in memory of former SR investigative journalist Bill Morlin.”

Jacqueline Disotell, of Spokane Valley, gave $200. Larry and Tudy Hatch, of Spokane, sent $200. Kay Feirich, of Spokane, donated $200. “My husband and I worked for your organization for many years,” she wrote. “You are very much appreciated for what you do.” Judy Gardner, of Spokane, contributed $200. “Merry Christmas and thank you!” she wrote.

Gary and Leanne Brosius, of Veradale, donated $200. Bob and Glenda Thompson, of Spokane Valley, sent $200. Joann Brown, of Spokane Valley, sent $200. Wayne Bass, of Liberty Lake, gave $200. Bob and Gerry Conrad, of Spokane, contributed $200 in memory of Dennis Gray. Joe and Carolyn Schauble, of Spokane, sent $200 “in memory of our parents, Robert and Mary Schauble and Carol and Edna Magee.”

Elaine Hargrove, of Spokane, sent $200. Jim and Linda Hunt, of Spokane, gave $200. “May the joy of Christmas extend to all God’s children,” they wrote. Dick and Lola Houx Lile, of Spokane, sent $100, writing “Thank you so much for continuing the Christmas Fund tradition. I will continue my tradition of donating in honor of my parents, Robert and Ellen Houx.”

Catherine Brazil gave $200 via PayPal “in honor of past volunteer, Topper O’Connell, and Christmas Bureau Volunteer Coordinator Brigid Krause!” Mike and Cheri McQuesten sent $200 via PayPal, writing “Thank you for doing so much for our community.”

Brigid Krause, retiring Christmas Bureau volunteer coordinator, donated $160 via PayPal. “This donation is in honor of all of the wonderful, hard-working Christmas Bureau volunteers,” she wrote. “These are some of the best people I know and I wish to thank them for the gifts of time and talent they have given to me and this community. The gift of self is one of life’s most precious gifts. Merry Christmas CB volunteers!”

JoAnn and David Savage, of Mead, gave $150 “in memory of our dear and longtime friend, Bill Morlin, who loved Christmas and carried that spirit all through the year. Merry Christmas!” Joan Reuthinger, of Spokane, donated $150. “Thank you for the Christmas Bureau for being there,” she wrote. “In memory of my parents, Joe and Mary Reuthinger, and my brother and his wife, Larry and Linnea Reuthinger.”

Minnie Samek, of Spokane, gave $150. “For the blessing you all do for us,” she wrote. “This is for remembrance of my husband Phil and son Darrell Samek. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.” Pat and Jim Lynass donated $150 via PayPal, writing “This donation is to honor Maury Nollette for his ‘can do’ attitude during his recovery. Thanks to all the Christmas Bureau volunteers for their tireless efforts!”

Evelyn Kirkevold, of Spokane, sent $150. Donald Gale Jr., of Spokane, contributed $150. Colleen Stevens, of Spokane, gave $150. “This in memory and honor of our mom, Patricia Hughbanks-Martin, from all the Hughbanks family,” she wrote. “Mom always supported the Christmas Fund. She was ‘The best mom ever.’ ”

The Spokane Branch of the American Association of University Women donated $119.09. “Our branch was formed in 1909, so this is the reason for the amount of our donation,” wrote co-treasurer Margy Lawrence. “Over the years many of our members have volunteered to help at the Christmas Bureau. Our member Tana Carosella has worked on the books for many years. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and our hope is that 2022 will be a great year for all.”

Julia Carrell donated $125 via PayPal, writing “This donation is made in loving memory of my father, Michael T. Dobler. There is always something to be thankful for, and we are very thankful for the memories we have of you.” Michael and Doreen Lewis, of Spokane Valley, gave $105, writing “Thanks to The Spokesman-Review and all the volunteers.”

Mary Cameron, of Spokane Valley, contributed $100. Steven and Cyndy Alexander, of Otis Orchards, gave $100 in memory of Jason Alexander. Delores Rodgers, of Spokane, donated $100. Sharon and John Hopper, of Spokane, sent $100. Terry and Carol Johnson, of Spokane Valley, gave $100.

The following people each donated $100 via PayPal: Charles Kogler, Judith Madden, Robert Lafferty, William Skaer, Susan Alexander, Dean Duncan, Reinhard Foerg and Jeff Christenson.

Bob and Kathy Bohlen, of Spokane, donated $100 “in memory of our dear friend, Lee Spencer.” Jim and Lisa Northcott, of Spokane, gave $100 “in memory of our son, Andrew.” An anonymous donor sent $100 via PayPal. Phyllis Eide, of Spokane, contributed $100. An anonymous donor from Oakesdale, Washington, sent $100.

Larry and Mona Marlett, of Spokane Valley, gave $100. “Thank you for all you do for our community!” they wrote. Richard Morris, of Spokane Valley, sent $100. Patrick Thiel, of Spokane Valley, donated $100. Margaret Yurik-Clemons gave $100 via PayPal “in appreciation of the much needed work you are doing for members of our community.” Robert and LeeAnn Hanke, of Spokane Valley, contributed $100. An anonymous Spokane donor contributed $100.

Jackie Babin, of Liberty Lake, gave $100 in memory of Jim and Sue Babin. Nancy Biggerstaff, of Spokane, sent $100. Teri and Paddy Inman, of Mead, contributed $100, writing, “Thank you for all the wonderful work you do!” Pamela Medley, of Spokane, donated $100. Sue Blankenship, of Newman Lake, gave $100.

Terry and Cheryl Sticker, of Spokane, gave $100. “Please accept this donation in memory of our parents,” she wrote. “Thank you for all you do to make the holidays brighter for families in need.” Marilyn and Bill Thordarson, of Spokane, contributed $100. “Thank you to the Spokesman, Catholic Charities and Volunteers of America, and all the many volunteers for their part in brightening the holidays for needy families,” they wrote. “Bless you all.”

Virginia and Craig Pearsall, of Spokane, donated $100. “Thank you for all that you do, making someone’s holiday a lot brighter,” they wrote. Jim and Marlene McBride, of Nine Mile Falls, gave $100 “in memory of our daughter Katy. Thanks for all you do!”

David Bennett, of Spokane Valley, sent $100. “This donation is in remembrance of my mother, who really enjoyed this time of year, and also for my friend Bill Kuch, who was a big part of the program for many years!” he wrote. An anonymous donor sent $100 via PayPal. Mark Gardner gave $100 via PayPal, writing “I appreciate the service you provide to our community.”

Thomas McCabe, of Spokane, sent $99, writing, “Thanks for helping those in need.”

Carol Phelps, of Spokane, donated $75.

Kerry Orcutt, of Spokane Valley, sent $50. Julie Farmer, of Spokane, gave $50 “in memory of my son, Pete Harless, who died of cancer in October 2020.” Dudley Mizoguchi, of Spokane, sent $50 in memory of Dwight and Duane Mizoguchi. Jody Leifer, of Spokane, gave $50 in memory of Rae and Charles McCain.

Denise and Ian Potter, of Spokane, gave $50 “in memory of Gene Dondanville and George Potter, whom we miss very much, especially this time of year. Merry Christmas to all the volunteers.” Mike Prager, of Spokane, donated $50.

Darcy Hardin and Larry Reichert, of Spokane, donated $50. Jean Flechel, of Spokane, sent $50. Virginia and Willbann Terpening, of Spokane, gave $50. Linda and Pat Smith, of Spokane, contributed $50. Margaret Kobylus, of Spokane Valley, donated $50. An anonymous Spokane donor sent $50.

Cleve and Brit Penberthy, of Spokane, gave $50, as did Jacquelin Richardson, of Spokane. Phyllis Thayer, of Spokane, donated $50, writing, “Thanks for all you do and have done over the years.” Joyce Mann sent $50 via PayPal, writing, “Glad we are able to help.” Wendy Davis donated $50 via PayPal “in honor of my parents, Wayne and Nancy Wright, who taught us the importance of being thankful for what we have and to look out for others.”

Kevin Stark gave $50 via PayPal, as did Liz Massey, Incognito Salon, Mike Fundahn and Andrew Forsyth.

Ann Carey and Patty Rabel, of Spokane Valley, donated $40. “Please accept this donation (our 25th) in memory of our dad and mom, Kenney and Mickey Rabel,” they wrote.

Ingrid Carlson, of Spokane, gave $25. Nancy Pike, of Spokane, sent $25. “Thank you for helping everyone in the Spokane area have a very Merry Christmas,” she wrote. An anonymous donor sent $25. Shirley Hillhouse, of Spokane Valley, gave $25. An anonymous donor gave $25 via PayPal.

Ben and Lois Merrill, of Cheney, donated $20. Constance Brooker contributed $20 via PayPal. Lisa Gardner gave $15 via PayPal, as did Stephen Avrin.

Rachele Rumbaugh gave $1 via PayPal.

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