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Local couple gives to Christmas Happiness in honor of dentist Don Fortner, “who really cares”

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — It’s not often patients think fondly of their dentist. In fact, most people dread the dentist and the visit. But not so with Dr. Don Fortner, who has been a dentist in the Salisbury area since the early 1990s.

“He really cares about his patients,” is the response given by Jimmy Thompson, when asked about his dentist of 12 years.

“And his wife is super nice,” Thompson quickly adds.

Thompson and his wife, Linda, have been going to the Salisbury dentist for quite sometime, but he said the doctor has the best “chairside” manner and he’s just as nice outside of the office. The Thompsons wanted to the thank the Fortners by honoring them in their contribution to the Christmas Happiness Fund this year.

“When you see them outside the office, you are a friend,” Thompson said.

The couple have given in the past to the fund, but had not in the last couple of years.

“We decide to start giving again,” he said.

Children have a special place in the Thompsons’ hearts and they had to give to the Christmas Happiness Fund, Jimmy Thompson said.

The couple have three children and six grandchildren, whom they’ll get to spend the holidays with at their Rowan County home.

The Christmas Happiness Fund started in 1952 with Spencer Murphy, who was the Salisbury Post news editor at that time. He’d heard there were some area children who may not receive much for Christmas, so he implored the community to help and they’ve been helping ever since.

The program, as it does to this day, gave the community the opportunity to donate.

Eligible families are given vouchers that parents or guardians can use to buy toys or clothing for children.

Each donation is noted in a Post article in memory or in honor of someone.

Bring contributions to the Salisbury Post at 131 W. Innes St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or mail them to The Salisbury Post Christmas Happiness Fund, P.O. Box 4639, Salisbury, NC 28145-4639.

Make checks payable to the Christmas Happiness Fund and indicate how you wish your donations to be listed.

Today’s contributions are:

In honor of Carol, Charlie, Kerry, Betsy, Chris, Ryan, Tatum, and Adam by Denny White  $100

In memory of Lady by Nan Zimmerman  $25
In memory of Joe Ashley by Brenda Ashley and Family  $50
In loving memory of our beautiful daughters-Luanne and Amy by Larry and Brenda Gilbert  $50
Paul and Lynn $200
In memory of Rose and Eddie Post  $100
In loving memory of Judy Bringle by her daughter, Jennifer Bringle Handy  $25
Lois Simone  $100
In memory of our daughter, Diane Karriker by Jerry and Dolly Karriker  $100
Women of the Moose Chapter #1197 Spencer  $25
In honor of Ladies of JCPC by DJ and John  $50
In memory of our son Ryan Olsen by Mom and Dad  $100
In memory of Violet and Mason Lowrance by Tara and Sharon $25
SRR-Road Runners Club of America  $250
In honor of Y Wonders Singers by Kathy  $25
In honor of our family and friends and in lieu of Christmas cards by Dale and Jackie Newark  $50
In memory of Merle Haggard, Sonny James, and Ralph Stanley and in honor of Teresa Ellis, Mr. Ken Deal, and Darrell Harwood for genuinely improving the “quality of life” for Rowan County citizens all year long  by Hillbilly Hiking Club  $25
In memory of Tiger, Stinker, Fluffy, Gizmo, Squirt, Wesley, Lucy and Brownie and in honor of Tricia, on her birthday  $60
In memory of David L. Huffman by Kyle Huffman, Jennifer, Jimmy, Katie, Kenzie and Chase Shoaf $150
In memory of our grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. William Huffman and Mr. and Mrs. Dawson Weatherman by Kyle Huffman and Jennifer Shoaf  $50
In memory of Ruth E. Deadmon by Kyle Huffman and Jennifer Shoaf  $50
In honor of Salem Sunday School Teachers, Janet, Gloria, Betty, and Brent by Doyt Watson SS Class of Salem Lutheran Church  $50
In memory of Joyce Kneip, on what would have been her 60th birthday on December 17th by Debbie Eller  $25
In loving memory of our parents by Warren and Evelyn Morgan $100
Spencer Moose Lodge #2019  $100
In memory of Ray and Irene McCombs  $200
In honor of all past and present members of the Salisbury Lions Club  $100
In honor of Cynthia Smyre by David Smyre  $2
In honor of Dr. Fortner DDS and wife for their dedication to his patients and the kindness they show by Jimmy and Linda Thompson  $50
In honor of Barb and John Salamone  $50
In memory of Howard and Norma Fetterman $250
In honor of Arnold and Brenda Herring  $50
In honor of our wonderful neighbors, “Aunt Shully and Uncle Ned”  $75
In memory of Dermot and Katharyn Weaver, Ned and Ilene Norris and Mark Norris by Eric, Kathy, Erin, Kristen, Jonathan, Jack and Tyson  $100
In memory of our grandson, Jason Tyler Foreman and in honor of our grandchildren by David and Elijah, Jake and Nicholas, Marisol and Andres  $50
In loving memory of Paul A. Harrill, Jr., Myrtle and Paul A. Harrill, Sr., and Dorothy and Julius Glenn Hess, by Mary Ruth, Ken and Karen Harrill  $150
In honor of Daryl and Phillip by Pennie and Dick  $100
In honor of Linda Adams and Jimmie Webb by Pennie and Dick Martin  $100
Total $3,162
Running Total $38,851.57

Follow the stories and updates on community contributions via Christmas Happiness on Facebook

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.



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