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.
Bud Cadman of the Prairie Farm Lions wrote us the day after Thanksgiving to thank us for the $750 donation he received from the banquet. “Thank you for the excellent meal and wonderful evening at the St. Croix Casino on Nov. 16th. We appreciated the opportunity to meet your public relations group and gain a better understanding of your community outreach program. Today we received the generous $750 check to support our 2017 Prairie Farm Area Lions Christmas Care Project. On Dec. 16th, we will distribute about 65 food and fruit baskets throughout the community.”
Bill Thornley from the Spooner Advocate accepted a $1,000 donation on behalf of the Spooner Community Christmas Fund. He wrote the casino to thank them for the donation. “Many thanks for the $1,000. I got lucky picking our card. It was a really enjoyable evening. Much appeciated.” And, of course, Bill had his camera in hand for photos and made sure to feature the story we sent him about the banquet on the front page of the Advocate.
Bill also snapped this great photo of Sue Adams of the Washburn County Food Pantry picking her $750 Christmas card with the assistance of St. Croix Casinos Director of Marketing Shaurette Schoonover.
Indianbead Community Action Agency in Webster also received a $750 donation at the banquet.
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
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.
To see more photos from the Nov. 16. banquet, browse https://turtlelake.stcroixcasino.com/spreading-christmas-cheer/ and https://hertel.stcroixcasino.com/spreading-christmas-cheer-2/