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Holiday baskets offer prizes for a good cause

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RONAN — Winter is a tough time for local food banks, but kind-hearted local businesses and individuals come together to meld fun and charity in a Christmastime fundraiser meant to raise money for those who otherwise might go hungry. 

Community Bank’s Spirit Basket program has raised between $3,000 and $4,900 annually for the food banks since 2007. 

“A lot of people, a lot of businesses have contributed over the years,” event organizer Chris Jackson said. “People are so generous.” 

The program was put into place in 2007 after an employee saw a similar event done elsewhere. Holiday baskets are put together and donated by local businesses or individuals. This year, approximately 20 baskets filled the lobby of the Ronan office, with offerings of car repair, a custom-made bench, toys for a young girl, food items, and substantial gift cards. The Polson branch boasts 22 additional baskets.

“We have a wide assortment available,” Jackson said. 

People then buy raffle tickets for $1 each and place them in a drawing exclusively for that item. 

“If you want to spend $20 and put all of your raffle tickets in for one thing, you can,” Jackson said. “If you want to put $1 in for each basket, you can. It’s entirely up to you.” 

Jackson said a lot of people have been coming into the lobby to check out this year’s great prizes. 

The Ronan branch of Community Bank will have the drawing for the baskets at 6 p.m. on Dec. 11. The Polson branch will have the basket drawings Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. in St. Joseph Medical Center. 

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