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Christmas Happiness: ‘Girls Nite Out Gals’ give to remember late friend

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — Bettie Harrington Fesperman never wanted anyone to be without gifts, family and food during the holiday season.

Fesperman passed away five years ago, and her friends, called the “Girls Nite Out Gals,” still go out to eat once a month. Every year since her death, they give in her memory to the Christmas Happiness fund, Kay Farmer-Young said.

A note accompanying their donation stated: “In loving memory of our sweet friend, Bettie Harrington Fesperman. Christmas Happiness gifts were so important to her each year. Loving and missing you always, “Girls Nite Out Gals.’”

The gals gave $200 to the Christmas Happiness Fund.

“She would tell us how proud of us she was for giving,” Farmer-Young said. “We didn’t participate in Christmas Happiness before her death.”

Fesperman was a survivor of lung cancer, but she passed away after fatal car accident. She would have been 71 this year.

Farmer-Young said the first outing of Girls Nite Out Gals was difficult without Fesperman. They brought a flower to set at her plate and tears were shed.

The group of six to eight met when they were childhood friends at Landis Elementary School, lived in the same neighborhood or worked with her. 

“She was just the best,” Farmer-Young said. “She was a wonderful influence on us.”

Fesperman was known as the funny one, Farmer-Young said of her childhood friend. She and Fesperman met at church.

Farmer-Young said Fesperman and her husband, Harold, loved their grandchildren.

“Her grandchildren were her life,” Farmer-Young said. “She and her husband had a lot of happy times. It was all about her grandchildren.”

Her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and husband gave $100 in her honor as well.

The Christmas Happiness Fund assists families in need during the holidays so they can buy Christmas gifts for their children. The fund was started 67 years ago by a Salisbury Post editor as a way to help the less fortunate in the community. The Salisbury Post collects donations, and the Salvation Army distributes the money to local families.

Contributions to the Christmas Happiness Fund 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 and indicate how you want your donation listed.

Today’s donations are:

• In memory of Bill Shives on his Christmas Eve birthday, Love Becky, $50

In memory of Jeff and Mary Grace Shives, Love Becky, $50

Kathy and Windsor Eagle, $200

In memory of John C. Whitfield and in honor of D.J. Whitfield by Laine and Jennifer Byers, $100

• Canterbury Book Club, $100

• In loving memory of Ben B. Wagoner and W. Ralph Peeler by Irene W. Peeler, $50

In honor of our friendship by Martha, Lonzo, Beth and Terry, $50

In memory of my son Timothy Harris and my mother Helen Melton and my brother Bobby Melton by Shirley N. Harris, $30

Today’s total was $630.

The running total is $11,935.15.



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