PITTSFIELD -- Buoyed by several sizable donations, The Eagle Santa Fund is off to a good start toward bringing joy to local children this holiday season.
The $6,115 raised to date is ahead of last year's pace at this time. This season's goal is $45,000, according to fund organizers.
Catherine Wandrei, The Eagle's human resources manager, cited how special events like Santa Fund Pub Crawl earlier this month gave the 83rd annual fundraiser an early boost.
"These are events held by individuals who decide to do this on their own time," Wandrei said. "This helps us a lot because we don't have a great deal of fundraising throughout the year."
"The events also help highlight the fund, giving it more publicity," added Nancy McLean, a Santa Fund volunteer.
Among the upcoming Santa Fund-related fundraisers is a two-night concert at Chameleons on East Street in Pittsfield. The music club will stage shows on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15, 7 at p.m., featuring bands from the Berkshires, as well as Albany, N.Y., Springfield and New York City areas. Those 18 years of age and older can attend; the suggested donation is $10 each night.
While the special events spotlight The Eagle Santa Fund, individual donations have been its mainstay since it was established in 1929 at the dawn of the Great Depression.
"The small donations really add up to a great deal of money to help give kids a gift," said Wandrei.
Funds buy pre-school toys for children under 3 years old, while parents or guardians of children 3 to 11 receive a $40 gift certificate, redeemable at Walmart in Pittsfield, toward the purchase of a gift for their youngsters.
Families seeking to access The Eagle Santa Fund have until Friday to apply at the Salvation Army on West Street. Applications are available from 9 a.m. to noon.
Last year, 1,450 ara children benefited from the fund, according to organizers.
Contributions to the fund can be listed in the donor's name, in memory of loved ones, or anonymously.
Donors and their contributions will be listed in the paper unless otherwise noted. Donations are tax-deductible.
Donations can be mailed to The Eagle Santa Fund, P.O. Box 1172, Pittsfield, MA, 01202, or dropped off at The Berkshire eagle office at 75 South Church St. in Pittsfield.
Smile young ones, Santa loves you all! Santa's Helper $25
Crane & Co. Stationary Division Dalton 145
Jim & Sue Coxon 50
Merry Christmas to all 25
Helping to keep Christ in Christmas 25
Fay J. Henry 100
Merry Christmas! Emil & Mary Fontana 50
Chuck & Karen Varney 80
Arthur & Barbara Gordon 250
Night Cruzers of Berkshire County Inc. 250
Josie Janssen 30
Reed and Evelyn Hand 25
In memory of
Marcia DiOrio Cassavant 50
James J. and Mildred H. O'Brien from daughter Maureen 50
Our little Angel Jennifer & her brother, Gary Rocca, from Mom & Dad 25
Our dog Maggie From Bill & Gerry Barschdorf 25
My parents, Thelma & Homer Stanton, from Cindy 25
Toni Quinn from Jeanne Barry 20
My Son, Scott M. Danford Love, Mom 25
Mabel & Raymond Kittle 15
My loving husband, Philip Zarn, Sandy Zarn 25
My wife, Juba, from her children, grandchildren & great grandchildren 50
Loved ones (deceased) 50
Our two granddaughters Audra Lea Kent & Nicole Ann Sabato Gram & Bumpa 25.00
Today's total: $1,995
Total to date: $6,115
Needed to reach goal: $38,885
To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233.