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Helen and Ralph Brown honor cystic fibrosis yard sale donors and volunteers with Christmas Happiness contribution

SALISBURY — Twice a year, Helen and Ralph Brown organize and host yard sales to raise money for cystic fibrosis programs, a fundraiser they’ve taken on for the past 14 years.

The couple spend months acquiring items and many more months preparing the items for sale.

The couple began the project after their grandchildren were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. They say they couldn’t make it all happen without donors who give items to sell and the 25 or more volunteers who help set up the sale.

The Browns made a $100 donation to the Christmas Happiness Fund in honor of both their donors and volunteers.

The Christmas Happiness Fund is a program that has been around since the early 1950s. It was started after the late Spencer Murphy asked the Rowan County community to dig into their pockets to see that local children who would not have received much for Christmas could get some gifts.

The Salisbury Post collects the donations and those contributions are turned over to the Salvation Army of Rowan County. The local organization distributes vouchers that are used at a local business to eligible families where parents are able to buy gifts for their children.

“I wouldn’t be able to have them if I didn’t have the donors to give me things to sell and the volunteers,” Helen Brown said.

She and her husband have a yard sale in May and October and most recently have taken on estate sales throughout the year. Some people have donated items to the Browns after their loved ones have died.

“They take all they want and give me their contents,” she said.

The Browns have given to the Christmas Happiness Fund for a number of years.

“We feel especially blessed that we are able to do it. My grandchildren are doing well. We like to think this yard sale has helped these children and others with cystic fibrosis,” Helen said.

Contributions to Christmas Happiness may be delivered to the Salisbury Post, 131 W. Innes St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or mailed to Salisbury Post Christmas Happiness Fund, P.O. Box 4639, Salisbury, NC 28145-4639. Make checks payable to Christmas Happiness Fund and indicate how you want your donation listed.

Today’s contributions are:

In memory of our members lost by the Red Hats of Salisbury, N.C.: Patsy Barringer, Gerri Butler, Stepanie Fesperman, Betty Zimmerman, Minnie Grabowski, Dianne Hill, Marla Lowery-Queen, Gloria Rabon, Lena Sellers and Laverne Thompson, $100
In honor of Patsy Brown, Geraldine Aldridge, Irene Miller, Maribeth Baker, and the Rev. Gene Bost by Grace Lutheran Senior Sunday School Class, $70
In honor of all supporters of “Yard Sales for Cystic Fibrosis” by Ralph K. and Helen J. Brown, $100
In loving memory of my husband, Leonard Jr., and Mary Alice Rabon by Gloria Rabon, $25
In honor of Sunday school teachers Melva Menius, Evelyn Eller and Maggie Boreman by Ladies Bible Class Providence UMC, $25
In memory of Betty Boger, my sister and friend, by Ann, $25
In memory of beloved wife, Betty Boger — Love Dale, $40
In loving memory of Blanche, Quiller, Mable, “Bud,” Margie, Smit, R.L. and Marie, $150
In honor of our Sunday school teachers, Dwight Miller, Elbert Kluttz, and Steve Walton, by the Mildred Merrell Sunday School Class of Union Lutheran Church, $50
Thanks to God for all our blessings, $100
Spreading Santa’s Cheer by Road Runners Club of America, $500
Fred and Alice Stanback, $1,000
Mr. and Mrs. William C. Stanback, $1,000
In memory of James F. and Elizabeth Holmes Hurley, $1,000
In memory of Jimmy, Hayden and Buck Hurley, $1,000
Today’s total: $5,185
Running total: $25,855
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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