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Warm the Children meets goal after 'generous' gifts

WILLMAR -- The 2008 Warm the Children campaign has hit its goal of taking in more than $37,000 to help provide warm winter clothing for needy children throughout the west central area.

This year's campaign now stands at $40,341 in total donations, hitting a mark of 109 percent of goal. Organizers said a couple of "generous" donations earlier in the week helped the program hits its mark. Final paperwork is still to be completed, but shopping has been set up for an estimated 500 children throughout the area.

Last year, the Warm the Children campaign took in $41,255, exceeding a goal of $36,000. The donations received helped to clothe 483 children throughout the area. Now in its 15th year, the Warm the Children campaign has helped more than 4,883 children from an estimated 1,815 families over the past 14 years.

All donations, 100 percent, go to help the children. The program is administered through the West Central Tribune, with assistance from area social service agencies and schools making referrals. The families are then taken shopping in order to purchase warm winter clothing for the children. Each child is allowed an estimated $80 in purchases.

A total of 546 donations have been received during the 2008 campaign. In addition to the anonymous donations, recent contributions have been received from:

Belgrade: Don & Sandra Westaby

Clara City: Mae DeGrote

Grove City: James & Arlene Johnson

Kerkhoven: KIP Study Club

Lake Lillian: Tracks USA

Litchfield: Randt Recycling Technologies

Pennock: Mamrelund Lutheran Church WELCA

Renville: Jeanne Anding

Sacred Heart: Ricky & Kathy Mersbergen

Spicer: James & Marilynn Tiede, C. Suzanne Torgerson, Gene & Leila Wenzel

Willmar: Helaine Bolter, Barry & Lyn Bakker, Violet Raznik, Dave & Lynda Carlson, Bill & Lois Gulbrandsen, Roger Kohls, Alice Cutts, Mike & Sharon Bomstad, Stuart Ness; in honor of Dr. Steven Bell; in honor of Annette Derouin and Julie Remer from WPS Food Service cooks.

Thank you to all who have contributed and been a part of making the Warm the Children program a huge success. Donations may be mailed to: Warm the Children, PO Box 839, Willmar MN 56201; or brought to the Tribune at 2208 Trott Ave. S.W., Willmar.