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Share The Spirit campaign wraps up

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Share the Spirit Holiday Assistance Program just finished our 12th year helping Lake County children from needy families with toys, clothes and gifts at Christmas. We are fortunate enough to partner with the Ed Holland and the Marine Toys for Tots program, which helps us manage the daunting task of providing for these children. 

During the 2009 Christmas season we served almost 1,100 children in Lake County. In our 12 years of operation we have served 10,000 children with your help and the help of many volunteers.

Businesses who agreed to be our tree locations included: in Polson Glacier Bank, Lake County Leader, Wal-Mart, Eagle Bank, Lake County Courthouse, and St. Joseph Medical Center; in Ronan Hanson and Granley True Value Hardware, Valley Bank, the Valley Journal, Community Bank of Ronan, the Gift Gallery and Family Pharmacy, and St. Luke Hospital; S & K Electronics; and in St. Ignatius at Lake County Bank and Rod’s Harvest Foods. 

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, United Methodist Church, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Polson and Dayton Presbyterian Churches, and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church all gave generously. School kids from St. Ignatius and Polson adopted many of our tags and shopped carefully and wisely. We truly appreciate their help. 

Kim Leibenguth spearheaded the Lake County Sheriff’s program to adopt almost 80 of our kids and challenged Polson High School classes to collect toys for them. 

Thank you so very much to all the people who so generously picked up Share the Spirit tags from our trees filled with children’s Christmas requests, with help from everyone we were able to help make their holiday brighter. 

Volunteers make this program a success; they donate hundreds of hours throughout the season when most people would rather spend time with their families. Volunteers included Cheryl Thomas, Valerie Lindstrom, Russ Jenkins, Chuck Lewis, Marshall Bjork, Buck Young, Keith and Sue Urbach, Nancy and Heather Hines, Larry Ashcraft, Harold Lair, Lora Pearson, Barbara and Rick LaPiana, Barbara and Mauri Morin, and Dar Ekstrom.

For the third year Share the Spirit headquarters were fortunate to have space donated in the old Tamsco/DRS building, owned by Mike Maddy, trash hauling by Allied Waste and storage by the South Shore Storage. All of these donations add up to a very successful year for our community in spite of the economic downturn.

Share the Spirit is a 501(c) 3 non-profit group registered with the Internal Revenue Service. We also provide school supplies to Lake County Elementary schools in August and personal care bags to all of the county agencies twice each year. Donations can be mailed any time to Share the Spirit at P.O. Box 1341, Polson, MT 59860. 

Toni Young
for the STS Board of Directors of Valerie Lindstrom, Cheryl Thomas, Mauri and Barbara Morin, Russ Jenkins

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