My name is Bryce Thornton. With the help of many kind people and businesses I just finished a gift drive for the soldiers in Afghanistan. We packed 5,350 pounds of donations into 754 boxes and raised more than $16,000 in just four weeks. Some of the major sponsors were Gary West Meats, State Farm and its local agents, West Coast Paper, Figaro's Pizza, Academy Video, Silverwood Builders, Sandra Jane Music Foundation, Batteries Plus and Rogue Federal Credit Union. Thanks to KOBI and Hillary Lake, Bill Meyer at KMED 1440 AM, the Upper Rogue Independent, Valley Feed and Supply, Lars Larson, B.S.A. Troop 48, Grange Co-Op and the Mail Tribune. Countless others are greatly appreciated also.

This will make so many soldiers' Christmas a happy time of the year. Have a Merry Christmas. As of Dec. 23 All of the boxes had arrived and are being distributed to the soldiers. — Bryce Thornton, Eagle Point

I would like to thank some good people for helping in a time of need. Monday morning, representatives from Bank of the Cascades dropped off a check for $3,000 to help Rogue Valley CDC replace power tools stolen in late November. This comes after Steve Munroe, owner of Light Touch Excavation, dropped off a check for $800 last week. This money will go a long way toward replacing the $11,000 in tools taken from us. The people using those tools were low-income families building their own homes and young men and women rebuilding their lives. Thanks to these donations and donations being collected now by our friends at Ashland Hardware and Hubbard's Hardware we have been able to turn a negative into a positive. Having good friends in a time of need is so important. Thank you very much. — John Wheeler, executive director, Rogue Valley CDC

On behalf of the volunteers from the Jacksonville Boosters Club and the SOHS I would like to thank all those who were able to attend "Christmas at the Beekman House" during Jacksonville's Victorian Christmas.

We thank you for supporting these two organizations and showing that our history is important and worth saving for future generations. We would also like to thank the Mail Tribune Tempo and the Jacksonville Review for their generous advertising space and the Jacksonville Garden Club for the beautiful arrangements that adorned the ticket booth and entrance porch. It was a fun event that was enjoyed by visitors and volunteers alike. A special thank you and much appreciation to the numerous volunteers who gave their time and energy to make this event happen.

Thank you and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. — Dirk J. Siedlecki, director, Jacksonville Boosters Club

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