ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen Journal’s annual Empty Stocking Fund received three gifts this week, but one stood out like the Star of Bethlehem.
An anonymous donor visited the Bladen Journal office on Tuesday and presented a check for $4,000 to the Empty Stocking Fund.
“We were stunned,” said W. Curt Vincent, general manager/editor of the Bladen Journal. “This donation is one-third of our goal for the season, and it’s simply incredible someone is that generous.”
The Classic Cruisers Car Club delivered a check for $800 on Monday. It is the 17th year the club has donated to the Empty Stocking Fund and, along with other community contributions from money raised during its annual August cruise-in, has donated $243,000 overall.
“It’s really the reason we hold that car show,” said Wayne Dove, a member of the club. “We want to give back to some of the worthy efforts in Bladen County, especially those that help the children.”
In addition, a $40 donation was received from Cephus J. Beatty of Dublin.
The three gifts helped to push the Empty Stocking Fund’s coffers to $6,170 thus far.
The Bladen Journal partners with the Bladen County Department of Social Services and the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce in an effort to collect money from throughout the community to assist children in having a bright Christmas. Gift cards to Walmart and/or Leinwand’s are handed out on a specific day prior to Christmas at the Bladen Journal office.
The Bladen Journal is hoping to assist more than 200 children this year.
But there is a twist.
Should this season’s effort surpass the $12,000 goal — by at least $3,000 — the Bladen Journal’s W. Curt Vincent will spend Christmas weekend camped out on the roof of the Bladen Journal office.
“I hope the tremendous gift we received this week will inspire others to give what they can,” Vincent said. “The possibility of going on the roof is now becoming a strong possibility, but there’s not much time left to donate.”
Donations are being accepted through Wednesday, Dec. 9.
To contribute to this year’s Empty Stocking Fund, donations can be dropped off at the Bladen Journal office in downtown Elizabethtown or mailed to: Empty Stocking Fund, c/o Bladen Journal, P.O. Box 70, Elizabethtown, N.C. 28337.