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Arkadelphia Siftings Herald - Arkadelphia, AR
  • JA wraps up 2013 Angel Tree

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  • Thanks to the support of the community, more than 600 Clark County children had gifts to open Christmas morning. According to Nicole McGough, the 2013 Angel Tree had a total of 623 "angels" for this year. "We (the Junior Auxiliary) had to shop for 363, which is about average. We usually shop for a little bit more than half of the kids," said McGough. The Junior Auxiliary sponsors the Angel Tree Project each year. McGough said various fundraising efforts helped to make it possible for the JA to purchase gifts for the children who weren't selected by the community. "We were able to spend enough money to make this a good Christmas for all of these children," McGough said. McGough expressed her gratitude to everyone who supported the Angel Tree Project. "We would like to thank Sheriff Watson because he partners with us throughout this whole process," said McGough. Slim and Shorty's allowed the Junior Auxiliary to wait tables one evening. The organization raised more than $1,200 in tips which went toward the Angel Tree. A basketball tournament yielded more than $1,500 towards the project. "We appreciate all the teams that played because they paid to play," said McGough. Concession items were donated with proceeds from the concession stand going to JA. A poker tournament held at the Club House yielded $660. The Mirage also held a poker tournament which raised $320. The Holiday Tour of Homes raised $251 and a 5K run generated approximately $500 for a total of approximately $4,431 from fundraising. "We've also had a great number of churches donate to us. The Ross Foundation and Alcoa have both given us grants and donations," said McGough. In addition, community members have made monetary donations to go toward the Angel Tree. Volunteers from Southern Bancorp, 4-H, and the Arkadelphia High School soccer team helped the JA shop for the gifts last Monday night. "Want to thank all of the people who participated in those things. We also want to thank First Presbyterian Church for allowing us to come in and use their building," McGough said. Looking back on last year, McGough said the JA set a record for its fundraising efforts. "This year, we had 100 more kids on the list and I would say we were close to doing what we did last year," McGough said. According to McGough, has worked with the Angel Tree for approximately three years and has never encountered a rude parent. "I've had parents who have hugged us, who have cried, who have left and came back with thank-you notes because they are so appreciative for what they got and who can barely believe how generous complete strangers have been to them and their children," said McGough. On the application, McGough said a space has been designated for people to express how Angel Tree has helped them. "I've had one who wrote now that she is a mom, she realizes that she probably had Christmas because of Angel Tree when she was growing up and how much she appreciates that now that she is a mom. She had no idea when she was a kid and that's what we hope that these kids never have to know," McGough said.
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