The Mining Journal is in its 35th year of collecting Christmas presents for the Salvation Army through the Cheer Club.
Friday is the final official day of the donation drive for this year, and toys are still coming into the newspaper’s offices in Marquette. 2012 was a very strong year for the Cheer Club, with donations increasing sharply. This year is also looking good.
“The economy hasn’t really improved that much, so every year, the need is great,” Mining Journal publisher and general manager Jim Reevs said. “We’ve had very good support from the community again this year, but there’s always that extra need, and last year I think we served close to 800 families, 3,500-some people.”
The community support often comes from people who might be having a tough time themselves. The owners of Hickey’s Bar in Ishpeming still managed to donate thousands of dollars.
“Here’s somebody whose business burned down, and this was (a) 70-something-year-old business, family business, that burned down, and they still had a fundraiser,” Reevs said. “And my understanding is that they gave around $4,000 unofficially. The report I heard was that they made over $4,000.”
Any items donated through Christmas Eve will still be delivered to the Salvation Army in Marquette and Ishpeming, but the Salvation Army continues to have needs after the holidays are gone. Jim Reevs hopes people continue to give to the organization to meet those needs.