Acts of kindness fuel ‘Tots’ drive

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If you saw a random Facebook post about a missing ring — or any item really — would you try and find it, just to try and reunite it with its owner?

Now how about if that item was at the top of a mountain in the snow?

Not many of us would do just that. But that’s just what friends Tom Gately and Brendan Cheever decided to do.

“As I read the post, my heart had gone out to him because I’ve lost my wedding ring before and I was going to be on the mountain at the same time,” Gately told CBS reporters, according to

But let’s not jump ahead of the story too much. First, the owner of the ring.

Bill Giguere’s lost his wedding band during a daytime hike along a 10-mile loop trail by Mount Hancock in New Hampshire. The only clue that he had to its possible location was the memory he had briefly removed his gloves while at the mountain’s summit. By the time he had returned to his car after the hike and noticed it was missing, daylight was already fading, according to the website.

Giguere decided he had nothing to lose by posting word of his lost wedding ring to a Facebook group for hiking enthusiasts — where it was spotted by Gately and Cheevar.

Now, Gately hold out much hope they would find the ring but the pair figured they had nothing to lose by trying. It probably didn’t hurt that they decided to bring along Gately’s metal detector to improve their odds.

Within minutes of the hikers reaching the summit, the detector started beeping. He then brushed away some snow only to find the missing wedding ring, the website reported.

“Everybody just started clapping,” Cheever told WCVB. “You couldn’t believe it.”

After Giguere got the message they had found the ring, he drove 60 miles to Gately’s house so he could pick up the previous token and thank the New Hampshire man for his efforts.

That small act of kindness had a huge impact for Giguere. Imagine what kind of impact our donations to the Sandpoint Lions Club’s Toys for Tots campaign can have.

Donations from a handful of change to large checks from generous donors all add up to something pretty magical — a merry Christmas for all of the community’s youngsters.

Today’s generous donations of $1,610.11 to get the ball rolling for the Lions’ annual Toys for Tots campaign were received from: Idaho Community Foundation (Richard & Donna Hutter Fund), $1,000; Penny Cole, $20; Roy & Linda Raynor, $100; Char, $20; Cliff Irish Trucking, $300; and Bill & Marge, $50; as well as coin jars from Dairy Depot, $21.25; Babes 1 Stop, $38; Eagles, $34; Co-Op, $5; Burger Express, $6.86; Yokes, $6; and Hoot Owl, $9.

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 Historical Museum.)

The Lions Den will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. through Monday, Dec. 16, so members can accept applications. Applications also are available at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare office.

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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