Because members of the community joined together, some Columbia Township kids may have their best Christmas ever.  The generosity of donors, the Columbia Police and Fire Departments, and volunteers gave these kids a needed boost.   How did this unfold?  Check out the video.

The 30 Columbia Elementary students went on a shopping spree at Jackson’s Walmart where they purchased gifts for family members.  The kids split into two groups for separate trips – one on December 11, the other on December 14th.  All along the way, they were helped by the adult volunteers.

How they got to Walmart deserves attention.  They boarded John LeFere’s massive motor home, piloted by John himself along with wife, Susan.  With emergency lights flashing, police cars led the entourage from the school grounds to Jefferson Road.  Motorists heading east pulled over to make way for the police escort.  That gave the kids a thrill they will surely remember for years to come.

The cops helped the kids as they chose gifts at Walmart.

From there, the motorhome took them to the Brooklyn Sportsmen Club.  Club members and police helped with the wrapping.  As you can see, Santa was hand.  Each student received a present of his or her own.

The day was made complete with lunch served by the Club.

Columbia Township Police Chief Jay Niles comments “I would like to thank each of you as well as all the support to make this year’s effort such a fabulous event.  The support is humbling as the outpouring from the community is unbelievable.” So, who were the heroes who donated?


Joan & Ryan Ambs
Joe Collins
Jeffry & Gail Durham
David & Sharon Elwell
Pam Feller
Ronald & Elizabeth June
John and Dorothy Karkheck
Harry Krass
Jill & Robert Lajdziak
R. Michael & Katheleen Lefere
John & Marcella Lucas
Sandra Lyons
Michael & Teresa McKay
John Neely
Rodney Partridge
Walt & Joyce Reed
Stella Robert
Cathy Senkewitz
Mary and Bryan Vaughn
James Vetter
Jackie Weeks
Chris & Cynthia White
Tim Zacharias

Businesses and Organizations

Bamm Built Construction
Beach Bar
Boyers Tool & Die
Brooklyn Plumbing and Heating
Brooklyn Sportsman Club
Columbia Animal Clinic
Country Market
Eagle’s Nest Bar & Grill
Frey and Sons Floor Covering
Garver’s Towing
Irish Hills Collision
Judicial Services Group
Kelly Fuels
Mid-American Machining
Morris Smith Agency
Raft – O- Rama
Southern Michigan Bank & Trust
Speedway Auto parts
Wilcox Lawn and Landscaping

Blair Huff hosted the fundraising campaign at the Eagle’s Nest Bar & Grill.  In this photo are John Lefere, who drove the motorhome; Blair; John Karkheck, event organizer, and Chief Niles.


Who are some of the people who came by to make a donation?