Donations are merry music to ‘Tots’

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If I’m going to have a Christmas song stuck in my head, I’d rather it be Bing Crosby’s version of “White Christmas.” Not, as happened Monday night, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

I don’t have anything against the classic song and make it a point to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” because I enjoy the show. (OK, I admit it, I’m a Christmas junkie and watch a lot of the animated classic when I can and even own “A Chrismas Story” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” but I digress ...)

Wandering back to the point at hand, I love Christmas music. What’s not to like? You have a focus on the positive, giving, and the beauty of the season. You a focus on Christ, and all that He stands for. You have songs that are light-hearted and quirky, that make you laugh. You have serious songs that make you think.

There are songs about white Christmases, blue Christmases and red Santa suits. There are songs about Santa coming to town and Grandmas and reindeer. There are songs about snowmen (Frosty, chief among them, of course), songs about and by chipmunks, and bells ringing merrily.

There are Christmas songs about roasting chestnuts, calls for snow, red-nosed reindeer named Rudolph, and rockin’ around the Christmas tree. There are songs for every taste, by every artist and every genre.

The message found in Christmas music can also be seen in the Sandpoint Lions Club’s annual Toys for Tots drive and how the community pulls together to ensure every youngster in the Lake Pend Oreille School District has a merry Christmas.

Today’s donations add up to $2,502.26, bringing the total to $17,278.47.

Generous contributions were received from: UPS drivers at Walmart, $346.26 (as well as a large number of toys); Eva May Whitehead, $500; Brian and Laura Bjerke, $100; Richard Neuder, $25; Old Red’s Pub , $156; Ella Smith Vizena, $100; Larry and Joyce Smith (in loving memory of our son, Kip Oliver Smith), $125; anonymous, $1,000; Doreen Dugan, $25; Steven Shearer, $75; and Ruth and Joe Guthrie (in memory of our precious daughters, Marie and Jenny), $50.

The goal for this year’s campaign is $50,000 — the same as it has been in past years. The Lions make the most of the money by shopping bargains, and with the assistance of generous local businesses.

The Toys for Tots program provides free new toys for children living in the Lake Pend Oreille School District, from Sandpoint to Clark Fork and all points in-between. A Christmas dinner for the family is also provided.

Those who need help this year can apply at the Lions Den, 607 S. Ella Ave., Sandpoint (west of Memorial Field next to the Bonner County History Museum.)

The Lions Den will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Monday, Dec. 18, so members can accept applications. Applications also are available at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare office.

If you have any questions about Toys for Tots sign-up, call Judy Dabrowski, 208-290-5314.

Donations for Toys for Tots can be dropped off at the front desk at the Bonner County Daily Bee, 310 Church St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Donations also can be mailed to the Sandpoint Lions Club, P.O. Box 414, Sandpoint, ID, 83864

You can also drop off donations at Columbia Bank’s main branch in Sandpoint, 414 Church St., or at the Ponderay branch, 300 Kootenai Cutoff Road.

Donations made by check are preferred. Be sure to include a note with your check indicating that it is a Toys for Tots donation. If you wish to make an anonymous donation, please include a note.

If the donation is being made in someone’s name, be sure to also include a note.

Caroline Lobsinger can be reached by email at and follow her on Twitter @CarolDailyBee.

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