Christmas Happiness the Final Round
By Shavonne Walker
SALISBURY — This year, thanks to the Rowan County community, 1,365 children received something this holiday season through the annual Christmas Happiness Fund program.
The Christmas Happiness Fund was started 64 years ago by then-Post editor Spencer Murphy. He heard there was a number of children who would not receive gifts on Christmas and he felt compelled to write a column asking for the community to give any amount. Rowan residents have been giving ever since.
The money donated at the Salisbury Post is then turned over to the Salvation Army of Rowan County, which distributes the money to eligible families. Families receive a gift card or voucher that is used at Walmart to buy either clothing or toys.
This year, the community contributed a total of $56,594.57, raising over $1,071 more this year than last year. In 2015, Rowan residents gave $55,523.45 to help children have a brighter Christmas.
NaKisha Carr heads the Salvation Army with husband Bobby, and said there were some families who may have not been able to be helped initially or who had some other emergency situation come up.
After the first round of giving, 95 additional children were served through Christmas Happiness. The total number of children was 1,365, Carr said.
Any money collected after the holidays is used to begin the fund for the following year.
The following are the final contributions:
In memory of Jay and Bill by Stephen and Martha $40
In memory of Melvene Koontz and in honor of Will and Evan by Edwin Koontz $200
Rowan Doll Society, Salisbury, NC $90
In loving memory of our son, Randall Gore by Steve and Malynda Peeler $25
In loving memory of my father, James Ryan and my brothers, Jimmy and Mike Ryan by Kathy Stoessel $25
In honor of the staff and clients of Rowan Vocational Opportunities by Tim and Karen Deal $25
In memory of Bettie Fesperman and in honor of grandchildren Harley Gagnier, Siera and Ethen Fesperman, David Graham III, and greatgrandchild Atlas Gagnier by Harold Fesperman $100
For the children by Jim and Sonja Goodman $200
In lieu of Christmas cards by Dale and Betty Boger $100
In honor of our Aunt Blanche Stutts, who celebrated her 100th birthday this month by Dale and Judy Lefler $20
In honor of Hayes and Nancy Ratledge by Marshall Ratledge $100
In memory of our sweet friend, Bettie Harrington Fesperman, miss you still, love you always by “Girls Nite Out Gals” $50
In memory of Norde Wilson, Mimi and Pawpaw Goodman and in honor of Saylor, Sophie, Sam, Molly, Ella and Graham $100
Running Total $56,594.57
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.