Well, gang, the calendar has only just turned to December and we are rolling. We really are.
Already, The Daily News Christmas Cheer Fund has gone over the $15,000 mark and, yes, we have heard from a lot of old friends.
Like Twink and Wayne Murphy, who send a note that reads: "To Gregg and all your helpers — Once again deserving work you all do."
The Sandulaks offer: "Thanks so much for doing this."
I would be remiss in not mentioning Lil and Harry Francis, who have been with us from the beginning. They always send a note to the "elves" and everyone involved with the Christmas Cheer Fund and this year is no different.
"This is what Christmas is for — helping others in need and remembering them. . . . Kudos to all of you," they write.
Your Christmas Cheer Fund is successful because of people like these, and the ones whose names appear at the end of each of these stories. Folks like Dianne and Ed Barker — yes, Dianne is in Winnipeg at the Roar of the Rings this week where she is working as the deputy chief umpire. Dianne, a longtime curling official at the national and international level, was the deputy chief of competition at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and will work as an on-ice official at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.
And groups like the McArthur Island Aging Beauties and the Bunco Babes, the latter of which just happens to include one of my favourite people.
We always hear from the gang at the Kamloops Computer Centre, and the P.E.O. Sisterhood Chapter Au is with us once again. The P.E.O. Sisterhood, which has been around since 1869, "is passionate about its mission: promoting educational opportunities for women," according to its website.
The other day, I got an email from Christine Gregory, who works down the street at Morelli Chertkow. She asked for a couple of Christmas Cheer Fund posters, and they were delivered.
"They are hanging up and look great," she writes.
And then she got to the good stuff.
"We started our month of Christmas Baking (every day someone brings in a 'treat' and you can have one for a donation to the Christmas Cheer Fund. Today it was my turn and I made White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake . . . what a great breakfast!"
We can only imagine all of the "great" breakfasts the gang is enjoying this month.
Don't forget that we are taking bids on a Leroy Krazyboy exclusive limited edition leather jacket. Jackets like this retail for about $800; we are asking for a minimum bid of $400. This package allows the winning bidder to pick a jacket and includes the embroidering of a name of your choice onto the jacket.
To bid, call our front desk (250-372-2331) and ask for one of the elves, or stop by our office at 393 Seymour St. The deadline is Friday, Dec. 20, at 3 p.m.
While on my poster run the other day, I stopped in at High Octane Comics and Collectibles, where they have a permanent Christmas Cheer Fund tin on the counter. Santa and his reindeer weren't there, but Mel Lopes and Nathan Bosa were, visiting with the crew. It's always enjoyable to run into old friends, especially at this time of the year. Merry Christmas to all of you.
This year, five local charities will share equally in your Christmas Cheer Fund — the Kamloops Food Bank, the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home, the New Life Mission, the Kamloops United Church's PIT Stop program and the YMCA-YWCA Y Women's Shelter.
To donate, simply use one of the coupons that appear in these pages or visit our office at 393 Seymour St., and meet the elves, who will be pleased to help.
* * *
Dianne and Ed Barker $500
The Hausers $100
Terrace Heights Ranch $100
Kamloops Computer Centre Staff $200
McArthur Island Aging Beauties $107.55
Bunco Babes $70
Hubbie Happy Hens $25
Jo-Mary and Bob Hunter $200
In memory of Dillon . . . Love, Mom $100
In memory of Dillon . . . Love, Auntie Joyan $40
In memory of Dillon . . . Love, Auntie Katrine $30
Rita and Sigmund Lyster $200
Margaret Sandulak $25
Twink and Wayne Murphy $25
K-40 (Kinsmen) Kamloops $200
Marie and Ron Hunt $100
P.E.O. Sisterhood Chapter Au $200
TODAY'S CHEER $2,777.55
PREVIOUS TOTAL $12,975.00
OVERALL TOTAL $15,752.55