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Bellringer blasts through 2005 fund-raising goals

POULSBO — Elated.

Ecstatic.

Shocked.

Those were just some of the words Bellringer Fund volunteer John Macdonald used when he first heard the 53rd annual holiday fund-raising drive had surpassed its goal for 2005 — raising $31,059.85.

“I’m excited, totally excited,” Macdonald said Monday. “When I saw the paper Saturday, I was wondering. But we made it.”

With mere days to go before the end of the drive last week, Bellringer was still about $4,000 away from the $30,000 goal for its 2005 holiday drive. But donors kicked it into high gear over the new year, donating enough to push the fund $1,000 past its request.

The last donation of the year, appropriately enough for the community-sponsored fund, was a more than $2,600 contribution from Mike’s Carwash owner Mike Brooks. The amount is the result of a pledge Brooks made to donate a portion of all automatic car washes at Poulsbo Village in November and December to the effort.

For a handful of years, the state of the economy had prompted Bellringer administrators the Poulsbo Noon Lions to keep their annual fund-raising goals to $25,000. But an ever increasing need in the community led them this year to bite the bullet and ask for $30,000.

The Raab Foundation’s Bellringer Fund annually helps hundreds of North Kitsap residents with one-time needs like rent or mortgage subsidies, utility payments, emergency transportation and food.

The phone number to request help from the fund receives about five calls per day, more than ever before. And larger-than-expected need also meant that Bellringer had to slow its giving in order to make funds last through the end of 2004.

“The demand has definitely gone up but hopefully, it’ll drop off soon,” Macdonald said.

Though the holiday drive through the North Kitsap Herald has concluded, the Bellringer Fund can receive community donations throughout the year. Donations can be mailed to the Bellringer Fund, P.O. Box 1244, Poulsbo, WA 98370.

The number to request help from Bellringer is (360) 697-6087.

Bellringer donations through Jan. 3:

•JaLilly M. Christenson $100 In gratitude to my Lord & Savior for his faithfulness. Rom. 1:16

•$100 Olympic Vintage Auto Club

•Anonymous $300

•Anonymous $250 In memory of Camille Slack

•J.A. & Jean Wasson $125 In memory of our parents

•Anonymous $500

•Anonymous $100

•Anonymous $500 In memory of Duane Springsteel

•Mike’s Carwash $2,625

•James Zuvela $50

Today’s total $4,600

Running total $31,059.85

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