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Articles & Local History > 2009 - Giving Tree

by Denise McLoughlin


This year’s annual “Giving Tree – Mini Festival of Trees” could not have been more appropriately named. For years the Giving Tree has helped make Christmas a little special for those that may not have otherwise received much in the way of gifts.  The giving does not stop at Christmas time.  When possible, they try to send one or more students to Washington, D. C. with the 8th grade field trip. They also help with school supplies for the school – items like band-aids, general staple items, change of clothing, etc.  Warm mittens, scarves and even coats are purchased for children that need them.  The Giving Tree goes where it is needed – and 100% goes to the community! It is an all-volunteer effort by community members, FOR  the community. They are always ready to help in any emergency situation as well.

 Every year the goal is to exceed the year before in sales.  It was especially important this year since it was anticipated that they would be helping over 100 children.  More than 100 items were donated for the Silent Auction, door prizes and  table raffles, as well as generous monetary donations.  The committee has been overwhelmed by the response from the community.  The volunteers did a wonderful job creating a fun-filled arena for shopping, eating and visiting with old friends. Soups, chili, snacks and sweets were offered throughout the evening. The silent auction went on from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. , and a craft area was set up for the little ones  to play while parents shopped. They had a lot of toys donated this year, including limited edition Barbies, Lincoln logs, baby dolls and games. For those that have done this a time or two, they have developed a system for their bidding. Hmmph! Mine never works, but I should have tried little Isaac Myers approach. He spotted THE toy that he wanted and absolutely no one was going to out bid him. He stood in place with a death grip on the toy he wanted for a good part of the evening. Needless to say, he won it! These are the things that couldn’t be planned if you wanted, but helped make the event so special.

The committee reported their best-year-ever with 120 visitors signing in for the day.  Over $2,000 more was taken in, including sales from raffle tickets, auctions and monetary donations.  Joan Johnson made some beautiful John Deer e fleece blanket s that were won by Mike Luca and Linda Brown.  Two half-hogs were also raffled and won by Mike Brady and Rose Sandrock.

This is the last year for this event.  But we are assured by the Giving Tree committee that they are already brain-storming for a new approach for next year.  W hen I spoke with GT committee member Denise Mickelson, she added “Can you please mention a big thank you to all the volunteers that helped? Shirley & Don Lester, Joan & Gary Johnson, Dixie Myers, Chris Jaques, Linda Brown and Linda Kuelpker, plus all the other santa's helpers that helped make this a success!! We are very blessed in this economy to have such a giving community.”  

There is still time to do some last-minute shopping because they plan to have their “store” set up during the Christmas in the Country on December 5 in the Tampico Ambulance Building. Be sure to check the Tampico Calendar of Events for all the events planned for that day.

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