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Anonymous donor gives $5,000 for toys
By Dennis Box
The spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Bonney Lake.
Giving gifts and helping those in need during Christmas has year after year been a strong element of the community.
Thursday, a gift was given that underlined the depth of kindness in the area.
According to Henri Troth, who owns and operates the Bonney Lake Grocery Outlet with her husband Ron, a woman came into the store and handed her an envelope.
“She told me this was a donation for Toys For Tots,” Troth said. “She said I should open it soon and then she left.”
When Troth opened the envelope she found a cashier's check for $5,000. Troth found the woman in the parking lot and asked if she wanted her name used.
“She said that wasn't important,” Troth said. “Just getting the toys for kids was (important).
Barb Wigton, Bonney Lake Police Department records clerk who heads up the city's Giving Tree, food drive and Toys for Tots program, said it was the largest single contribution she had seen.
Wigton has been organizing the community Christmas efforts for 15 years.
Toys for Tots is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
Troth said, along with the $5,000 donation, she has sold more than $800 in gift card for Toys for Tots, plus more than $800 in gift cards for the food bank and more than $350 for the senior center.
“That's just customers buying $5 gift cards,” Troth said. “We also have three watermelon bins full of toys people have dropped off. We're pretty impressed.”
Troth said Riverside Ford will bring a pickup to Grocery Outlet this week to collect food for the Bonney Lake Food Bank.
Wigton said the Giving Tree, food drive and Toys for Tots have been very successful again this year.
“The people in this community that give and help are what make these programs work,” Wigton said. “I really want to thank everyone. This is a very giving community.”
A conference room was filled with toys that Wigton and her helpers spent countless hours wrapping.
Jennifer Hopkins, one of Wigton's helpers, said she looks forward to the holiday events.
“This is something I can do to give back to the community,” Hopkins said.
Wigton said business sponsors in the community include Grocery Outlet, Lumbermens, KeyBank and Sunset Chiropractic and Wellness Center.
At the Food Bank, director Melvain Donyes said the community has given about 50 turkeys this year for Christmas and 20 hams.
Donyes said the food bank staff has agreed to stay open this year for regular hours all week. Turkeys, hams and other items will be distributed to those in need 9 a.m. to noon Thursday and Friday.
“I think the turkeys should hold out,” Donyes said. “Hopefully the hams will as well.”
Dennis Box can be reached at email@example.com.