Things are slowly starting to heat up with The Daily News Christmas Cheer Fund.
And the best part of getting things started, as usual, is that we already are hearing from old friends.
"Old friends, winter companions . . .," as Simon and Garfunkel sing so nicely.
Old friends like Lil and Harry Francis, who have been with us from the beginning. They always send along a card, too.
"All the best for lots of donations to the Christmas Cheer Fund," they write. "Five worthy local caring places will sure appreciate the money to help them in 2013 - all do so much for our community."
I often bump into Stu MacGregor, the head scout for the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, in the press box at Interior Savings Centre. That was the case again the other night and he handed over 50 American dollars, which turned into $48.43 in Canadian money. Yes, times have changed.
Stu was just back from Sweden so I'm glad he didn't give me some krona. Although, come to think of it, it may have been worth it just to see the look on the head elf's face.
Your Christmas Cheer Fund also got some of those funny-looking bills from Angela MacIsaac, an old-new face in these parts. Angela is a recent addition to our news desk. She spent a few years in Calgary before realizing the error of her ways and returning to Kamloops, where she had worked a number of years before heading east. She had made a recent trek to Spokane, so handed over some money that she somehow had kept out of the clutches of those dastardly American stores.
And what to say about the Brock Central Lions Club and their nice donation? My late father was a long-time Lions Club member. Oh, how I remember the Lions Ladies' Nights and the Friday night supper meetings. And how Harry Belafonte always ended up on the record player in the wee hours!
Meanwhile, don't forget that Larriena Lonsberry and the good folks over at Rivershore Chrysler Dodge Jeep are packing a Patriot. Drop by and say hello - they'll likely pour you a cup of coffee, too - and put a toy, a game or some food in the Patriot. In the end, whatever is in the Patriot will be going to Christmas Amalgamated and the Kamloops Food Bank.
Also, I can hardly wait for Dec. 7 because that's when Tim Labermeyer and our good friend Ligaya - we call her Lola - and all the crew at Walmart will open their doors 24 hours a day for the Christmas season. Yes, I have been known to do Christmas shopping at 2 a.m.
This time around, whatever donations we receive here will be shared equally by five local charities - 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.
Should you want to get in on the fun, simply use one of the coupons that appear regularly in this newspaper. Or drop by our office (393 Seymour St.) and one of our always-smiling elves will help you.
We're back here in a week and that's when things really start to heat up as we begin the daily push to the big day. In the meantime, keep the elbows down when you're out there shopping.
Angela MacIsaac $20.33
Stu MacGregor $48.43
The Bay employees Christmas party $217
Lil and Harry Francis $50
Kamloops Brock Central Lions $500
TODAY'S TOTAL $1,030.76
PREVIOUS TOTAL $1,104.48
OVERALL TOTAL $2,135.24
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