glen at polo park Empty Stocking Fund starts with record donations
PANAMA CITY The Empty Stocking Fund always has been about families.
It been about the families who need help putting food on their tables and presents under their trees to create the holiday experience. Families who need a little extra help.
will assist thousands of individuals during the holiday season with food, clothing and toys, making sure that every child has something under the tree at Christmas, said Salvation Army Maj. Otis Childs. play a big part in that by contributing to the Empty Stocking Fund. then, the Empty Stocking Fund also is about the families behind it. Both the ones who donate money and the ones who help to pull the event together.
On Thursday, the 2017 fundraiser kicked off with a party that celebrates the families who give to, work on and benefit from the fund, raising a record $19,279 in donations. In three decades, the fund, a partnership between The News Herald and Bill Cramer Chevrolet, has raised more than $4.5 million for the Salvation Army to distribute in the local community.
The goal this year is to raise $185,000 by Christmas.
The Cramer Family involvement in the fund has stretched multiple generations, and this year a new generation has stepped up to the plate with Will Cramer giving the opening speeches. His father, Bill Cramer, was out of town.
the excitement and happiness and just joy on their faces talking to Santa and talking about Christmas, it was just really, really a lot of fun and really just beautiful, Cramer said. of you will not ever get to see that, but the money you donate it brings that same joy and happiness to hundreds of families in this community. is tradition, The News Herald donated the first $5,000 and the Cramers will donate the last $5,000 once the goal is met, creating little challenge. have these people that come in with the big checks and we have these people that come in with the small checks, and separately neither of them will get us to the goal, said News Herald Editor Mike Cazalas. the small donations won get us there. All the big donations won get us there. It only together that this works. money raised by the Empty Stocking Fund will help hundreds of families this holiday season, and help support the Salvation Army year round endeavors. Box 540, Panama City, FL 32402 0540, or visit the Salvation Army office at 1824 W. 15th St. or The News Herald at 501 W. 11th St. to drop it off in person.