Letters to the editor: November 29 - December 5, 2012

Published on Wed, Nov 28, 2012
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The Editor:

Through the generosity of a responsive and thoughtful community, the 2012 CAP Thanksgiving Basket project provided turkeys and fixings for Thanksgiving dinner to a record-setting 327 families that included 981 adults and 724 children. This is a 39 percent increase over the number served in 2011. We are especially grateful to the many individuals and businesses that provided generous financial support to ensure the success of this annual tradition.
Our sincere thanks go to the Northwest Dairy Association for their Darigold butter, Edaleen’s Dairy for their milk and to Bedlington Potato Warehouse for their potatoes. We also thank the five Blaine businesses that displayed posters and “turkey jars” to collect donations from their clients and the general public. We deeply appreciate your heartfelt generosity.
For all of the cooks in the community who provided 352 pies, be assured that your efforts were recognized and enjoyed. Christ Episcopal Church was the winner of the church pie competition providing 86 pies.
For his support in ordering the groceries, lending us shopping carts and helping us with all aspects of the program, we thank Dean Priestman, manager of Cost Cutter. Thanks also to Phillips Edison & Company for use of the distribution site.
We are truly grateful for the extraordinary support of the firefighters of North Whatcom Fire/Rescue for hanging the banner, transporting turkeys, milk and butter, ensuring that everything arrived on schedule, and literally putting the muscle into the program. To Chief Hollander, Lt. Mike Nelson and all the firefighters who participated, we extend our sincere thanks.
To all the volunteer team members who worked tirelessly to clean the facility, organize and set up the baskets, manage the distribution, and ensure the success of the program, we are greatly indebted. And, a special thanks to the Community Meals volunteers who served coffee, hot cider and cookies to all those waiting in line.
And last, our thanks to Jessie Burton and Larissa Dhanani at Family Services who fielded the hundreds of calls from families making a reservation for a Thanksgiving Basket and for all the follow-up calls to ensure that no one left empty-handed. Thank you for your unwavering dedication.
Due to committed and hard-working volunteers and the generosity of this community, 1,705 children and adults enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner.
Thank you one and all.

Jerry Williams, director
Community Assistance Program

The Editor: 

Blaine Food Bank (BFB) was invited by the Blaine Chamber of Commerce to join them at Harborview Plaza for the Saturday, December 1, 2012 annual tree lighting ceremony. BFB volunteers will be available to answer questions and accept cash or food (non-perishable) donations from 2:30 p.m. when the Holiday Lights Dash starts until the ceremony ends at 6:30 p.m. If you have not yet donated to BFB’s $25,000 Challenge, this is a perfect opportunity to help us reach our goal before December 15, 2012.
As most people in the Birch Bay, Blaine and Custer areas know, a local benefactor offered to match community donations up to $25,000. Thus far, BFB has raised $16,792 and has $8,208 to be raised if we are to collect matching funds. The area’s churches, schools, businesses and residents have already been generous, so why should you continue to donate to BFB?
There are many reasons to help support the BFB’s $25,000 Challenge. A local organization is a good choice for charitable donations. As a BFB donor, you know your $1 will be doubled. BFB also guarantees your donations will be spent on food and personal hygiene products. Your cash or product donations will help BFB provide for our Birch Bay, Blaine and Custer families who need it. The week before Thanksgiving, BFB helped more than 380 families while the week before that brought 242 families seeking assistance. BFB volunteers know $8,208 seems out of sight, especially at this time of year, but we are a good bet for making sure your holiday donation goes twice as far as most donations.
BFB volunteers are deeply grateful for donations received to date, but think of how much food we could buy if we reached our $25,000 goal and the donation ultimately became $50,000! Please visit the BFB table at the December 1 tree lighting ceremony and let a volunteer express their appreciation for your donation. If unable to join us December 1, but would still like to donate, our mailing address is P. O. Box 472, Blaine, WA 98231.

Robin Kendall and all the Blaine Food  
Bank volunteers 

The Editor:

My name is John Chadwick and I live in Bellingham. I strongly urge both Senator Cantwell and Senator Murray to support closure of Guantanamo prison by ensuring all detainees are either charged and fairly tried in U.S. federal court or released to countries that will respect their human rights.
I strongly urge both senators to vote against any detention provisions in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (S. 3254) that would keep Guantanamo open or restrict the transfer of detainees to the mainland United States for trial or to other suitable countries for resettlement. 

John Chadwick

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