The Daily News Christmas Cheer Fund began in time for the festive season of 2002.
Since Day 1, no one group has done more to help out than Jim Doan, the sensei at the Western Karate Academy, and his students.
In fact, what these people are able to accomplish year after year is amazing.
One year ago, Jim turned over $12,000. That was a single-season record for him and his students. When this year's campaign started, Jim said he was doubtful that they would be able to top 2012.
Well . . . guess what?
"As much fun as I have teaching karate to my students," Jim writes, "nothing is more fun than adding up the final total for our contribution to the Christmas Cheer Fund.
"I knew my students had put a lot of effort into collecting pledges for the Kick-A-Thon this year; however, I could hardly have expected that the combined effort would result in another record-breaking total.
"On behalf of the students of the academy, it is my pleasure to donate $14,000 to the Cheer Fund, bringing our 12-year total to $57,625.
"At the academy, we like to say that 'building character is our business,' and I consider the Cheer Fund to be one of the most tangible ways my students can display their character."
Jim closes with: "We wish a Merry Christmas to the many community sponsors who supported our efforts, all the individuals who generously donated to the cause, and The Daily News for bringing cheer to so many worthy charities in Kamloops each year."
Thanks so much to all of you for everything you do each year. It means so much to so many people in our city.
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As you will see, your Christmas Cheer Fund had a big day, with the coffers being enriched by almost $18,000.
We heard from the gang at Pacific Way elementary, with a note informing us that "our school library helpers raised this money by selling 25-cent tickets for a poster draw in the month of December."
Well done, and Merry Christmas!
And how about the good folks at the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations? They held lunches throughout the year and have had basket draws in this festive season, with proceeds going to your Christmas Cheer Fund. Is that special, or what?
Thanks, gang, and have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The gals at Curves on Laval Crescent are with us again, as they have been from the start, and we really appreciate their support.
Edie Pletzer is here again, with a note thanking "the elves and the KDN for keeping this fine tradition going."
Edie, no one has referred to the Christmas Cheer Fund as a tradition, but I suppose we can make that claim after being here for 12 years!
The Daily News Christmas Cheer Fund, a Kamloops tradition . . . yes, that does have a nice ring to it!
The Clare family says that we "are the best! In these challenging times, you remain generous in community spirit and support. Thank you for your year-round support of literacy in Kamloops. We are happy to give back a little."
Noeline and Dale Kerr send greetings to the "incredible elves," while Nia Fitness instructors Trudy Goold and Carole Ramage write: "This donation is from our Christmas class dancing to holiday music under starlight and candles. We collected $75 and would like this to be our first donation, and plan to continue to donate annually."
You people are beautiful, you really are. That is right up there with the best news we received this week. Welcome aboard, and have a merry one!
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This is your last chance to get in a bid on the limited edition Krazyboy leather jacket that was donated to the fund by Leroy (Krazyboy) Connell. The winning bidder will be able to select a jacket and have a name embroidered on it.
The bidding ends today, 3 p.m., with the high bid now sitting at $525. This jacket normally would retail for around $800.
To get in a bid, call our front desk (250-372-2331) or stop by our office at 393 Seymour St.
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Five local charities are sharing equally in this year's Christmas Cheer Fund. They are 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.
If you would like to help out, feel free to drop by our office at 393 Seymour St., and get one of our popular elves to help. Or clip one of the coupons out of this newspaper and use it. Either way, you'll get in on the fun.
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Western Karate Academy $14,000
Employees of Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) $788
Pacific Way Elementary School library $34.55
From the Mason family $100
Nia Fitness Class $75
Shelley and Dave O'Grady $100
The Clare family $100
In memory of Dan Howland $25
Beverley and Murray McCurdy $125
Norma and Ron Watts $100
Lynn and Pat $200
In memory of Nona Rorison $50
In memory of Dave Robertson (from Eileen and Duane Meyer) $100
Noeline and Dale Kerr $100
C.J. Armstrong $100
J. Sim family $100
Edie Pletzer $50
Parkland Pool and Spa $100
Gayle and Starr Carson $50
Angela and Chris DeHaan $200
Wilf Vigue $500
Staff of Rivercity Cycle $100
Dr. Peter Kiss $500
Wildlife Express Volunteers Society $64.20
In memory of Marty Beitel (Love from Sharon, Cory, Tara) $100
Curves on Laval Crescent $100.85
TODAY'S CHEER $17,862.60
PREVIOUS TOTAL $44,427.39
OVERALL TOTAL $62,289.99