By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — The Newkirk Women’s League’s Angel Tree project has wrapped up for the 2020 holiday season, with local supporters providing much-appreciated gifts to needy children in the community. The organization also got a monetary boost through the Chamber of Commerce, who donated funds through the organization’s ‘Elfie’ contest.
The Angel Tree program is sponsored by the Women’s League, with a Christmas tree set up in the lobby of Equity Bank. On the tree aren’t traditional ornaments, but rather tags with gift details for local children, including age and gender. Community supporters pick those ‘ornaments’ off the tree and return the gifts to the bank.
The organization also takes monetary donations to help make certain presents are available for all the children.
“All the names are gone, but sometimes Women’s League makes sure they get a pair of pants, socks, a shirt,” said member Mary Austin.
The Chamber stepped in to help with the ‘Elfie’ program. Under the program, five community members were selected for the contest, which included Austin, as well as Ryan Smykil, Serena Welch, Scott Kempenich and Adam Longcrier. Community members chose their favorite Elfie through donations, with the winner receiving the highest funds. Austin won the contest, and the Chamber matched the funds for a total of $331.34 donated to Women’s League, which will be used as part of the Angel Tree program.
“You could easily spend $100 on a child, and the extra money helps to fill in, if there is a shortage, if there aren’t enough gifts for a child,” Austin said.
The Chamber is proud to participate and support the organization and the Angel Tree, as they know it will be a help to the community.
“It helps out local children who might not have had a Christmas this year,” said Chamber Secretary Glenna Blair.