Recent Madison Eagle Press
Madison Eagle Christmas Fund makes wishes come true
MADISON - Santa’s elves may not load his sleigh until Christmas Eve on Dec. 24, but volunteers for the Madison Eagle Christmas Fund have spent the week sorting, packing and delivering hundreds of gifts for senior citizens and families in need in Madison.
Several volunteers have pitched in to continue the more than 40-year Madison tradition of providing holiday gifts such as coats, toys, books, grocery and gas gift cards for close to 300 Madison residents.
“The Madison Eagle Christmas Fund was inspired many years ago by resident Barbara Valk, who made an effort to remember some lonely senior citizens during the holidays to show her son that Christmas is more than presents under a tree. We have had a great group of dedicated volunteers this year with lots of energy and excitement,” said Gary Ruckelshaus, chairman of the Madison Eagle Christmas Fund and former mayor of Madison. The core group of volunteers are his wife, Joyce Ruckelshaus, and Linda Durney, Hal Moeller, Jen Boyer, Kelly Bergin, Stacey Smollen, Janet O’Connell, Raia Wielandy, DeAnna Schraft, Kathy McGrath, Leslie Lajewski, Tina Hein, Lynn Macagnano, Mary Wilson and Cali Yost.
The Madison Eagle Christmas Fund is a community effort, with civics and religious groups, merchants, schools, volunteers and individual donors all teaming up to assist neighbors with financial challenges. Along with Madison's three elementary schools and the Madison Junior School at 160 Main St., many merchants have served as collection sites for toys, hats and gloves, including Coldwell Banker at 180 Main St., Provident Bank at 98 Main St., Cleaners Advantage at (888) 471-7676, Sugar Rush at 10 Waverly Place, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Coccia Realty at 49 Main St., Lakeland Bank at 265 Main St., Fulton Bank at 18 Elmer St., Adams Dental at 1 Kings Road, the Bar Method of Madison at 122 Main St., second floor, the Moment Institute at 20 Cook Ave., and the Short Stories Bookshop and Community Hub at 23 Main St.
The Madison Eagle Christmas Fund raises about $30,000 annually, and relies solely on donations and volunteers to cover operating expenses. While the toy and glove donations for the year have closed, the Madison Eagle Christmas Fund is still accepting cash donations.
Tax-deductible donations can be made by posting a check payable to the Madison Eagle Christmas Fund, P.O. Box 2, Madison, N.J. 07940 or directly through the website at http://madisoneaglechristmasfund.org/.
Monetary donations are the lifeblood of the Madison Eagle Christmas Fund’s mission to help neighbors in need during the holiday season, and every penny of every donation goes to that mission.
Among the most recent donors who are helping the Christmas Fund brighten the holidays for less fortunate neighbors are:
Carol Castellano and Bill Cucco, Richard and Ann Tobin, Mark and Missy Durham, Janet and Mike O'Connell, Neal and Helen Ryan, Robert and Pam Morse, Mary Teresa Rocco Fitzimons, Robert and Eileen Richards, Robert Balascio, A. Michael and Gloria Smith, and Deborah and Isaac Starker.