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Paynesville Press - Nov. 12, 2003

Paynesville Area Charity Fund conducting its 2003 drive

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

The Paynesville Area Charity Fund drive is off to a good start in 2003 but sill has a long way to go.

The charity fund kicked off its 11th annual drive with a mass mailing in October, ten years after the first Paynesville Area Charity Fund in 1993.

As of Friday, Nov. 7, the drive had collected about $15,000 in donations or 33 percent of its $45,000 goal, said co-treasurer Joe Spaulding.

Usually donations really pick up after Thanksgiving when people are feeling charitable, said Spaulding.

The drive runs from October through December, though the funds are not dispersed until March, meaning donations can be made until the end of February. However, only donations made by the end of December count as tax deductions on 2003 taxes.

All donations are tax-deductible. Donors should keep their cancelled checks or money orders for tax purposes. Receipts will be sent to donors who make contributions over $250.

To donate to the fund drive, residents can choose between 20 local and 13 state and national charities. The volunteer staff will send the appropriate amounts to each charity after the fund drive ends. Donations can be designated for one charity or divided up between two or more charities. Unspecified donations will be divided by the commitee, based on percentages of other donations.

Donors can also specify money to be sent to charities not on the list.

One new charity was added to the list of charities this year. The Paynesville Area La Leche League is an organization that is dedicated to providing support and information to mothers who want to breast feed their babies and toddlers.

Another charity - benefitting the local drivers for meals on wheels - returned to the charity list after a one-year absence. This fund provides incentives - gas reimbursement and meal tickets - for the volunteer drivers who deliver meals.

Last year, the charity fund raised $40,225, exceeding its $40,000 goal. Based on this year's good start, Spaulding hopes to meet or exceed this year's goal.

The board of directors for the Paynesville Area Charity Fund are: Rosie Beier, Robert and Candice Bowden, Phyllis Gardner, Clint and Janet Hoiseth, Armon Kaechler, Cecil Louis, Bev Mueller, Faye and Jim Paster, Dan Severance, Joe Spaulding, Dave and Clarice Stumo, and Jay Thompson.

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