On Thursday, November 16 we played Santa to a bunch of people who will soon be playing Santa themselves. We threw a party for volunteers from 15 community agencies in Barron, Burnett, Dunn, Polk, Sawyer, St. Croix and Washburn counties. Everyone who attended was treated to cocktails and a buffet meal. And a representative from each agency got the chance to pick a mystery Christmas card for up to $1,500 in cash. In all, we donated $11,500 to the charities represented at the banquet. This special banquet took the place of the Christmas toy drive the St. Croix Casinos have hosted every year since 1993.
The following charities received awards at the banquet:
Brian’s Heart, Centuria, Wis., $750
Chetek Community Club, Chetek, Wis., $750
Clayton Gifts for Children, Clayton, Wis., $500
Christmas for Children, Clear Lake, Wis., $500
Grace Place (Salvation Army), New Richmond, Wis., $500
Indianhead Community Action Agency, Webster, Wis.,$750
Margaret’s Project Santa, Cumberland, Wis., $750
Polk County Operation Christmas, St. Croix Falls, Wis., $1,500
Operation Santa, Rice Lake, Wis., $500
Prairie Farm Lions, Prairie Farm, Wis., $750
Spooner Community Christmas Drive, Spooner, Wis., $1,000
Stone Lake Emergency Fund, Hayward, Wis., $1,000
Turtle Lake School S.O.S., Turtle Lake, Wis., $1,000
Washburn County Food Pantry, Spooner, Wis., $750
WestCAP, Glenwood City, Wis., $500
Here are some of the people who bring Christmas to their communities.
Barb Muench of Margaret’s Project Santa in Cumberland, Wis. Margaret’s Project Santa received $750 at the Nov. 16 banquet. Margaret’s Project Santa is a collaborative community effort which makes sure every Cumberland child in need has gifts for Christmas. The High School Student Council, the Cumberland Elementary, Middle and High School classes, businesses, community service organizations, churches, families and individuals all work together to make this happen. Last year the project was able to give toys and food, as well as warm coats and boots to 216 children.
Dale Robarge of Indianhead Insurance Agency in Chetek, who represented the Chetek Community Club at the banquet. The casino’s donation to the Chetek Community Club was $750. The money will be used to help buy toys for children in the Chetek area.
Pam Walter of the Stone Lake Emergency Fund. Pam brings Christmas to scores of children in the Stone Lake area. The $1,000 donation she received at the banquet will go a long way toward her efforts at playing Santa.
Grace Place in New Richmond, Wis., a facility managed by the Salvation Army, provides shelter for homeless families. During the Christmas season, Grace Place also hosts Breakfast with Santa and provides donations of Love Baskets to needy families in the St. Croix Valley area. Duana Bremer of the Salvation Army received the casino’s $500 donation at the Nov. 16 banquet.
WestCAP of Glenwood City, Wis. provides assistance to needy families throughout northwest Wisconsin. During the holiday season, Kristen Curvello of WestCAP facilitates a toy drive for families in need. She won $500 at the banquet.
Thank you to all of the volunteers in our communities who work tirelessly to bring a merry Christmas to children in their communities. We wish all of them a very blessed Christmas season.
For more photos from the Nov. 16 banquet, check out https://turtlelake.stcroixcasino.com/spreading-christmas-cheer/ and https://danbury.stcroixcasino.com/spreading-christmas-cheer-2/