12/04/11 — Holiday party for children needs support

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Holiday party for children needs support

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 4, 2011 1:50 AM

No present.

No stocking.

No meet and greet with Santa Claus.

Without donations from the public, that will be the reality for hundreds of Wayne County children who rely, annually, on the generosity of those more fortunate than themselves.

But despite a slow start to The Goldsboro News-Argus' Christmas campaign, Empty Stocking Fund officials said they are confident local residents will, again, open their hearts -- and wallets -- for a cause that has been associated with the holiday season since 1912.

ESF Treasurer Debbie Pennell said a tough economic climate might be a key factor that has, to date, kept donations at a minimum.

"But we've been in this situation before," she said. "And every year, people just seem to dig deep enough to help us meet our goal."

As is the case every year, The News-Argus will publish the names of donors between now and the end of the campaign -- for contributions in honor of, or in memory of, a loved one.

Residents can also make donations anonymously.

And for those who would feel better about supporting the cause if they received a return on their investment, tickets are still available for the Embers Empty Stocking Fund benefit concert -- a Dec. 19 performance at the Paramount Theatre.

For tickets to the concert, call 739-7816 or if you simply wish to make a donation, they can be dropped off at the newspaper office at 310 N. Berkeley Blvd. or mailed to: Empty Stocking Fund, c/o The News-Argus, P.O. Box 10629, Goldsboro, 27532.

"The goal, for us, isn't really about hitting a dollar amount. It's about making sure these kids have a Christmas morning that they probably wouldn't have otherwise," Mrs. Pennell said. "And you know what, I think Wayne County is going to get us there. I have faith in our neighbors. I really do."