The Montgomery Herald, Montgomery, W.Va.

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February 1, 2012

Christmas Cheer drive had bittersweet 2011

MONTGOMERY — The annual Robert Jackson Christmas Cheer Drive, which has been a major mover in making Christmas a little brighter in the Upper Kanawha Valley for decades, once again enjoyed a successful campaign in 2011.

But it was also a bittersweet time for the organization and its dedicated volunteers, as longtime chairman Leon Newman passed away on Dec. 27. Newman, a Fayette County Board of Education member, had worked with Christmas Cheer for more than three decades.

“We made a promise to keep this project going when Mr. Jackson (the founder) died, and we’ve done the same for Mr. Newman,” said Snookie Hess, another longtime Christmas Cheer volunteer. “It was a ‘labor of love’ for him, and we will continue to provide for this community just as he and Bob Jackson did.”

According to Hess, the campaign provided food and toys to 110 families and 219 children this winter.

Hess and the committee thank the following for their donations which made that possible: Presbyterian Church, Columbus, Ohio; Marilyn Van Meter; Gordon Billheimer; Arbutus Lake; Guy Dooley Jr.; Elk Ridge Community Church; Louis Tabit; Hindson Insurance; NARCO Inc.; Dairy Queen; Montgomery Women’s Club; Ruth Carson; Joann Musick; Robert Neal; Betty Carver; Hattie Dillon Circle; Betty Vickers; Norman and Gail Harlan; Church of Jesus Christ, Morris Drive; Cannelton Assembly of God Church; Greg Chaney; Dosha White; Chandra Smith; William Groom; Lilly Collins; Kimberly First Baptist Church; Kimberly Church of God; Jim and Ella Mae Jones; Scottsdale, Pa. Wellspring Non-Denominational Church; James and Connie Baldwin; Modern Barber Shop; St. John’s Baptist Church; Kennedy Dental Office; Immaculate Conception Catholic Church; Jane Robinson; Morning Star Baptist Church; Boomer First Baptist Church; Yvonne Winston; Eagle Central Baptist Church; Judson Wallace; Roger and Sandy Huddleston; Butch and Sandy Singleton; Family Dollar, Montgomery; City of Smithers; Brown Chevrolet; Montgomery United Methodist Church; United Bank, Montgomery; WVU Tech Biology Department; The Montgomery Herald; Melissa Frisby; Humanitarian America Inc.; Leslie Cavalier; Mr. and Mrs. James Ford; Bill and Dosha White; and Gene and Snookie Hess.

— Steve Keenan

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