Donations to Warm The Children (WTC), a program sponsored by the Vilas County News-Review under the auspices of the Eagle River Rotary Foundation to provide winter clothing for children in need, have now reached 95% of the 2019 fundraising goal.

News-Review Publisher Kurt Krueger said donations are still coming in and the paper expects to meet this year’s fundraising goal of $80,000.

“We will hopefully exceed the 2019 goal, en­abling us to start the 2020 season with money already in reserve. Because we start the shopping season so soon after we start receiving donations, it is important that we have funds so that children can be shopped for as the winter season begins,” said Krueger.

He stressed that every penny raised goes to clothe needy children in the area, as the News-Review funds all of the administrative, marketing and other costs associated with the program.

“I think it’s important that the money being donated is used exclusively to help the kids and families that need it most,” said Krueger. “We can fund all the program costs because we have a strong community newspaper with fantastic support from readers and area businesses, our advertisers.”

Program coordinator Toni Ruthven expressed her gratitude to all the area businesses and individuals who have assisted with the program throughout the year.

“We are extremely grateful for each and every donation, no matter how large or small it is. I hope people will remember this wonderful program as they make their year-end, tax-deductible donations.”

Ruthven also spoke on her experience with WTC.

“When a donation comes in and I see that they have donated in previous years, I am thankful for their continued support. When a donation comes in from a first-time supporter it makes me proud that, no matter the dollar amount, people are willing to give. Our gratitude extends to individuals, local businesses and service groups,” she said.

“For instance, Coldwell Banker Mulleady REALTORS® in Eagle River organized a chili cook-off. It was well-supported by our great community and those proceeds will be going to Warm The Children. I have seen many examples like this, and it is humbling and heartwarming that they would sponsor this program,” she added.

Other groups have donated the proceeds obtained through activities such as the Santa breakfast in Phelps, a beauty raffle and many donations have been received from service clubs.

“With the holiday season in full swing, there is really no better feeling than giving our area children the chance to fully enjoy the season by receiving and using the new winter clothing to get out and enjoy the snow,” said Ruthven.

Donations may be made by dropping them off at the News-Review office, located at 425 W. Mill St. in Eagle River; mailing them to Vilas County News-Review, P.O. Box 1929, Eagle River, WI 54521; or at vcnewsreview.com.

In addition to many anonymous donors, donations were received as of Dec. 6 from residents in the following communities:

Conover: Dennis and Shirley Baillargeon.

Eagle River: Friends of The Blend, The Breakfast Club, Laura Arbogash, Marty and Martha Robbins, Eagle Floor Covering Center, Jan Murray, Mike and Sandra Mettler, Cliff and Susie Erickson, Helena Radloff, Nick and Cindy Vugrinec, Kurt and Debbie Rekau.

Phelps: Tom and Donna Bucher.

Sayner: Sayner Star Lake Lions Club

St. Germain: Sherry Stecker, Bill and Karen Wheeler, St. Germain Lions Club.

Other Wisconsin cities: Tony and Kathy Mattson, Mount Pleasant.

Other states: Rich and Lin Waggener, Waukegan, Ill.; Joe Mattson, Maple Grove, Minn.; Jake Mattson, Maple Grove, Minn.