As we have said before, expressing our profound admiration for the giving nature of Siouxlanders is something of which we never tire.

To this end, we again this year are moved by supporters of The Journal's Goodfellow Charities and its mission of putting smiles on the faces of children at Christmas.

Thanks to you - individuals, families and businesses - Mr. Goodfellow exceeded this year’s goal of $135,000 in this, the charity's 103rd year. Through the program, 14,000 toys and 7,000 books were delivered to more than 7,000 children for Christmas this month.

To everyone who donated money to our Goodfellow program, we say this: Whatever amount it was, your contribution was important and valued. Please know all of your money, every penny, will go to buy toys.

Mr. Goodfellow functions because of volunteers. Again this year, we share our deep gratitude to all of you who donated invaluable gifts of time, labor, expertise, goods and services. Every year, volunteers buy, box and bag, store, load, and distribute toys, and businesses provide food for them while they work. Board members oversee the Goodfellow program and Tailwaggers solicit donations. Free veterinary care is donated for the Little Yellow Dog.

We don't have space to mention every volunteer by name, but all of you should know how indispensable you are to this annual effort.

Thank you to the Ancient and Effervescent Order of the Little Yellow Dog and everyone who helped make the 82nd Little Yellow Dog Auction at the downtown Ho-Chunk Centre a success, from volunteers who set up and took down risers and chairs, to emcee Dave Nixon Sr., to the band who entertained, to veteran Goodfellow auctioneer Bruce Brock, to anyone who made a bid or simply stopped to watch.

This year, we extend a special note of thanks for the contribution to Mr. Goodfellow of:

* Darlene Erickson, who purchased Samantha, a Maltese and this year's Little Yellow Dog, for $15,000.

* President Ryan Callaghan and Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, based RP Constructors, LLC and Civil Engineers & Constructors, LLC, who donated use of a suite at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for the Dec. 17 Minnesota Vikings game. An online auction produced a winning bid of $10,751 for the Mr. Goodfellow campaign.

* The late William E. Johnson, who donated the bulk of his estate of more than $2.1 million to 29 charitable organizations related to work with children, including a $64,619 Goodfellow donation.

We are humbled by such generosity.

Time after time, this region rises to the occasion to meet a spectrum of needs, challenges and causes. We understand Mr. Goodfellow is but one of many local and area civic and charitable projects to which the wonderful people of our tri-state region provide support not only at this time of holidays, but throughout the year, year after year.

That strong spirit of helping others is one of the biggest reasons why Siouxland is a special place to live and work.

On behalf of The Journal and Goodfellow Charities, a heartfelt thank you to all of you whose support produced another successful campaign this year.

Merry Christmas.

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