December 21, 2011 Edition

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Dan Ellison secures Christmas gifts for the Angel Tree Project on a trailer Friday. The program provided gifts for 450 underprivileged children this year.

Angel Tree project very successful

John Bland

A very successful Angel Tree Project is now almost completed. Thanks to the generosity of many individuals, families and organizations, the project will provide Christmas gifts for approximately 450 children in Lawrence County.

"It went real well; everybody got gifts," said County Clerk Tina Stowers, a member of the committee.

"People were very, very generous this year," Stowers added. "I believe there were more bicycles this year than ever."

Most of the gifts were picked up Monday from the Lawrence County Meeting Room. A few gifts were left and are now located at the county clerk's office in the courthouse. The gifts can be picked up before 2 p.m. Thursday, when the courthouse closes for the holiday.

Stowers said that most angels on the Angel Tree are taken by groups and individuals. Less than 100 angels remained on the tree after the deadline, and gifts were purchased for these using approximately $5,000 in donated funds.

Several organizations made donations, such as an $1,800 donation from the associates of Robert Bosch Tool Company in Walnut Ridge. Employees of Lawrence Memorial Hospital donated $500 through their "blue jean Fridays" fund-raiser. Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church made a $300 donation, while the Walnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Department gave $250. There were a number of other donations from other organizations, churches, families and individuals, some who remain anonymous.

Stowers said that Suzanne Allen, a member of the committee, and three or four other individuals used the donated funds to buy gifts for the remaining 100 or less angels. They began shopping Saturday at 9 a.m. and finished wrapping gifts at 2 a.m. Sunday, she added.

Dan Ellison, former sheriff, with the help of 309 inmates at the Lawrence County Jail, took three trailer loads of gifts from the courthouse to the Lawrence County Meeting Room for pickup.

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