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Warm the Children at only 72 percent of goal

WILLMAR -- With less than a week to Christmas, the annual Warm the Children campaign is at only 72 percent of its 2010 goal of $39,000.

As the colder temperatures and snowfall have set in, the Warm the Children campaign coordinators have been busy arranging shopping for children in need of warm winter clothing. Already shopping has been completed for 400-plus children throughout the west central region.

But, as money is coming in slower than last year, organizers have held off on completing some last-minute shopping to be sure the funds are there to cover all the necessary shopping.

Last year the Warm the Children campaign took in $40,004, exceeding a goal of $38,000. The donations received helped to clothe 550 children throughout the area. Now in its 17th year, the Warm the Children campaign has helped some 5,948 children from an estimated 2,195 families over the past 16 years.

All donations, 100 percent, go to help the children. The program is administered through the West Central Tribune, in partnership with Main Street Willmar, 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.

While warm winter outerwear is the primary concern for these children, any type of clothing item is allowed through the program -- everything from such basics as socks and underwear to warm winter pajamas, shoes and school clothes.

Each child is allowed an estimated $80 in purchases.

A total of 376 donations have been received during the 2010 campaign. To date, donations total $28,217.84..

In addition to the anonymous donations, recent contributions have been received from:

Alexandria: Beth Bundy, by Lorraine Thompson

Appleton: Barbara Kerr

Atwater: William & Joan Schultz

Bird Island: Kay Precht

Blomkest: Warren Matson

Brooten: Betsey Isane; Trinity Lutheran Church WELCA

Granite Falls: Scott & Peg Heglund, Sarah LaBatte

Grinnell, Iowa: in honor of Doug & Lorna Caulkins

Grove City: James & Arlene Johnson

Lake Lillian: Howard & Viola Flann

Madison: Garfield Lutheran Church Women

Maynard: June & Winsel Christiansen; Maynard Senior Citizens Club

New London: In memory of loved ones from Joan & Lyle Hebrink

Paynesville: Bob & Darlene Marciniak

Raymond: Denise & Tim Smith

Spicer: Kevin & Joan Quinn, Myron & Joanne Mayer, Dennis & Mary Hosltad, Jon & Pam Melander, Charles & Sharon Olson, Lisa Thorstad, Bob & Jeannette Carlson, Arlene Gould, Mike & Linda Bundy by Lorraine Thompson; W.W.W. of Willmar & Spicer.

Sunburg: Glenn Bundy, Devin & Halle, by Lorraine Thompson.

Willmar: Larry & Bobbi Gates, Kevin & Corrinne Dahl, James & Bardette Brown, Melvin Werder, Margaret Gravgaard, Russell & Karen Anderson, Ray & Betty Hyser, Rolf & Joyce Standfuss, Ron & Anita Tucker, Audrey Thiele, Bev & Mark Skare, Steve & Peggy Ammermann, Patrick & Pamela Schwab, Gene & Dorothy Johnson, Dave & Lynda Carlson, Curt & Carolyn Olson, Dorothy Watzke, Wayne & Barb Stoneberg, Ray & Eileen Brede, Jim & Marge Andresen, Lowell & Lois Fostervold, Bud Mellom, Anthony & Mary Amon; from Gys & Wilhelmina Beukhof in honor of Pastor Mark Skarr and family, Catholic Aid Association St. Mary's Council 379, Etterman Enterprises, Walmart Foundation.

Thank you to all who have contributed in any way 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 dropped at the Tribune offices at 2208 W. Trott Avenue in Willmar, or at any one of eight downtown locations including Corneil-Elkjer Agency, Elmquist Jewelers, Hardware Hank Express, Heritage Bank, Insurance by Strehlow, Jake's Pizza, Ken's Casuals and Rick's Cycling & Sports.