The email arrived in the autumn of 2009, after which we played telephone tag for a few days.
But I still remember that it was a Saturday afternoon when the game of tag ended and Larriena Lonsberry and I finally connected.
Larriena works at Rivershore Chrysler Dodge Jeep and back then, she wanted to know what the gang over there could do to help out The Daily News Christmas Cheer Fund.
Since then those folks, led by Larriena and general manager Dan Laporte, have been among the fund's biggest supporters.
Evidence of that is found further down in today's story, in Today's Cheer.
But it should be pointed out that they also support other local organizations, like the SPCA and Christmas Amalgamated. The Rivershore people raffled off a 42-inch TV set at their Christmas party. They packed a Patriot, with the goodies going to the SPCA and Christmas Amalgamated. They are, in short, good people and it's a beautiful relationship.
And there's more.
A note from Larriena that arrived yesterday advises that their Pack the Patriot promotion has been extended.
"We wanted to give more," she writes, "so Dan sent out an email and we are putting an ad in the paper so . . . we will bring more when we can."
Hugs all around to Larriena, Dan and the entire crew.
Thanks so much and Merry Christmas.
We heard from old friends Grace and John Makortoff yesterday, too. They collected shopping carts from the streets of our fair city and turned over money they earned to the Christmas Cheer Fund.
Is that the Christmas spirit, or what? Help keep the streets neat and tidy, and help out some local organizations at the same time.
Grace and John, you have been with us since Day 1 and we really appreciate it. Have a great festive season!
We got a nice card from Edie Pletzer — there aren't many of those around these days, Edie — and from Velma Dale, who is always along for the ride with us.
And the Overland Women's Institute "had a very successful bake sale on Dec. 1 at Extra Foods and wanted to help, too!" Which is precisely what they have done.
Thank you all and have a Merry Christmas.
And then there's Alyssa Hoenmans, who chose to support your Christmas Cheer Fund by donating babysitting money. That was matched by her mom, Lori. And when Lorraine Millhouse, Alyssa's grandma, heard about it, she also chose to match Alyssa's donation.
It doesn't get any better than that around here. Merry Christmas to all, and thank you.
Speaking of young people, Mount Dufferin Elementary sent its delegation of Me to We students to our office yesterday morning. The students presented us with the proceeds of their annual Cake Walk.
When things like this happen, you realize that this place we call Earth will be in pretty good hands in the years to come.
Merry Christmas to all of you at Dufferin, and especially to Lillian Kwan, a teacher there who has been in our thoughts and prayers.
We can't get out of here today without thanking the crew at the Bamboo Inn, too. Every year they come through with a unique donation. Cheque it out in Today's Cheer and if you don't understand the significance, fire up the computer and check it out.
At the end of the day, it was a big one. You gave us more than $7,200 and we are closing in on $45,000.
And I can tell you that today will be huge. There were a few donations that arrived too late to make this list. As well, Jim Doan from the Western Karate Academy has said that he will by at some point today. He will drop a big number on us, for sure, and the elves will be relieved to know that the number will be on a cheque. I'm thinking the elves like Jim more than they do Santa Claus.
Don't forget that the Krazyboy Limited Edition/Signature Series leather jacket (size L) that was designed and donated by Leroy (Krazyboy) Connell remains open to bids. The deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m.
If you want to get in on it, call 250-372-2331 or stop by our office at 393 Seymour St. The jacket is valued at more than $500, and the minimum bid is $300.
Please keep in mind that we are running out of time here. We'll report on donations through Friday's paper and then save the big headline for Monday, our last paper before Christmas Day.
You are still able to make a donation by using one of the coupons from this paper, or by stopping in at our office (393 Seymour St.) and meeting an elf or two.
When we're done, five local charities will share equally in your generosity — the Kamloops Food Bank, Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home, New Life Mission, Pregnancy Care Centre of Kamloops and YMCA-YWCA Y Women's Emergency Shelter.
* * *
Pat Richardson $100.
Rivershore Chrysler Dodge Jeep $2,055
Doreen Stewart $100
Lori and Alyssa Hoenmans $50
Lorraine Millhouse $25
Grace and John Makortoff $20.55
Rita and Bob Kennell $100
Dufferin Elementary School $396
Helen and Mike McBride $150
Joan and Larry Cummings $90
Gerald Saunders $200
Velma Dale $50
Pat and Bob King $100
Maureen and Hoberly Hove $100
Allison, Morgan and Jonah Ring $200
Linda and John Healy $50
From the Klassen family, in memory of Lorence $300
Sandy and Robbie Osborne $100
Kamloops Orthopedics $800
Leslie Brochu, in memory of Dorothy and Terry Brochu $200
Leslie Brochu, in memory of Leonard Ongman $100
Janet and Spencer Bryson $200
Bamboo Inn $88.88
Edie Pletzer $50
Judy and Len Fowles $100
Right at Home Construction Ltd. $500
Overlander Women's Institute $250
TODAY'S TOTAL $7,200.43
PREVIOUS TOTAL $37,673.50
OVERALL TOTAL $ 44,873.93