The Saranac High School Key Club, which includes 78 members, collected, assembled and donated 43 Thanksgiving meal baskets to families in Redford, Clayburg, Saranac and Dannemora, as well as to the Saranac JCEO Outreach Program and Saranac United Methodist Church. Each basket included a turkey, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, fruit and dessert. Members also created and hand delivered 400 Thanksgiving decorations for residents of Meadowbrook Health Care and the Samuel F. Vilas Home in Plattsburgh. Student organizers included Key Club President Miranda Marnes, Vice President Beth Plumadore, Secretary Alexis Bruno, Treasurer Brooke Layhee and Club Editor Nicole Turcotte. The Key Club Adviser is Joan Seidel.
This Christmas season, the Bridge Church in Keeseville, along with many local businesses, provided 19 families from Keeseville, Peru and AuSable Forks with more than 20 baskets of food and toys. “This project started with the vision of a 7-year-old member of our congregation,” said Katherine Santor, associate pastor at the Bridge Church. “Elisha Benway, inspired by the concept of Operation Christmas Child, asked if we could help local families. Many local families are suffering hardship, and our list grew quite rapidly. We planned to assemble 10 baskets. We contacted some of the local businesses and were overwhelmed by their eager and generous response. The contributions of Pepsi-Cola Bottling, Keeseville Pharmacy, Keeseville Dollar General, Rulfs Orchard, Peru Grand Union, Peru Pharmacy, Pasquale’s, Forrence Orchards, Dunkin’ Donuts and Stewart’s Shop of Peru enabled us to more than double our initial goal. We hope to repeat and expand this project next year.”
The 26th-annual Stewart’s Shops Holiday Match program once again topped the $1 million mark in contributions for local children’s charities. The company announced that Stewart’s customers donated a total $672,000 at the 324 store locations in upstate New York and western Vermont between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Stewart’s Shops is matching that amount, with a total of $1,344,000 to be distributed in March. “These are difficult times for many families, and despite the economic challenges, we are always impressed with the generosity of our customers,” Stewart’s Foundation President Susan Dake said. All the money raised benefits children’s organizations directly within the communities where Stewart’s Shops are located; there are no administrative costs. After this year’s funds are distributed, more than $17 million will have been allocated since the program’s inception in 1986.
Children’s charities can still apply for funding from the Holiday Match Program, with applications available in all Stewart’s Shops or online at www.stewartsshops.com. Applications must be submitted or postmarked by Jan. 31.