Neighbors say thanks

Editor, Daily Union: Jefferson County Christmas Neighbors celebrated its 67th year with 420 families receiving toys, food, clothing, mittens, scarves, hats and blankets as part of our toy program, and an additional 166 families were adopted. Nearly 1,700 children were helped in the two programs.

The generosity of area communities was overwhelming, including time, money, toy and other donations. A big thank you goes to Theisen’s for awarding us a community grant and to Valero Renewables-Jefferson, who chose Christmas Neighbors as one of the recipients of the proceeds from its golf tournament. Another huge thanks to Lake Mills Market for picking Christmas Neighbors as the recipient of its December “roundup” in which customers donated their change to our program.

We want to thank our corporate sponsors. St. Vincent de Paul, Jones Dairy Farm, Jefferson Walmart, Tyranena Brewery, Paddy Coughlin’s, the Randy Schopen Foundation, Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, and our special friends, Badger Bank, PremierBank, Fort Community Credit Union and County-City Credit Union.

A thank you to Pepsi Co., which provided the funds for the rental for the Jefferson County Fair Park Activity Building for our distribution day. Thanks to Badgerland Marketing for its help with the website and Badger Press for its printing support.

Wedl’s, County-City Credit Union, Fort Community Credit Union, Badger Banks, PremierBank and WFAW all had food and/or toy drives. Thanks so much.

Other donations were provided by the Knights of Columbus, Festival Foods, Concord General Store, Waterloo School District, Johnson Creek High School National Honor Society and Sullivan United Methodist Church. Thanks to the Jefferson Walmart for the use of its grocery carts and Domino’s for its pizza donation.

Each year, we provide dropoff points for toys and food and we want to express our thanks to PremierBank, Badger Bank, Fort Community Credit Union, County-City Credit Union, Grinwald Ford and American Family Insurance of Jefferson.

Many others provide a valuable service by volunteering. Among these are the volunteers who work each week in the office for the five weeks preceding the giveaway, the toy shoppers, along with the many others who assist during the setup and distribution at the fairgrounds. A special thank you to Jefferson Patchworkers, Watertown Senior Center, Debbie Pederson, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and all our other wonderful crafters who provide beautiful mittens, hats, scarves, quilts and blankets.

We couldn’t put this huge program together without the help of transportation from Grinwald Ford and Rob’s Performance of Johnson Creek. Thanks to all our drivers, and those who provided security the day of distribution. Thanks to Ron Pribnow and the Jefferson Food Pantry for their help.

We also appreciate the press we get from our county newspapers and WFAW Radio.

Another big thank you goes to Jefferson, Waterloo and Johnson Creek high school students who collected so much food/toys. Also, thanks to the students from those high schools and the eighth-grade students from St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Jefferson who helped with set up and/or distribution day. Thanks to Lake Ripley 4-H Club members for their great cleanup help.

What can I say about the Latino Club from Jefferson High school and the Spanish Club from Johnson Creek, who provided translators and helped the families with their shopping? Your help was invaluable. Thank you.

We thank the many families, businesses, clubs, churches and organizations who adopt families, some returning year after year and many others who give monetary donations. We are grateful to each and every one who has contributed in any way.

We sincerely hope we have not forgotten to mention any large business donors, but we want all of you, whether your contribution was large or small, to know you are appreciated. Thank you so much. — Sincerely, Jefferson County Christmas Neighbors Board of Directors.

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