Many stepped up   for Christmas Cheer   Dallas Christmas Cheer wishes to express our heartfelt appreciation to this community and all the wonderful people who step up in so many different ways to give a gift of food and toys to local families in their time of need.    Because of your help, 297 families had a Christmas with food in the cupboards and presents under the tree.    Christmas Eve morning at about 6, approximately 500 smiling volunteers, both young and old, gathered to sort, shop, pack and deliver the holiday food boxes that provide milk, juice, meat, fresh vegetables, canned goods and a variety of other items to fill their refrigerators and cupboards and put presents under the tree. What a great time of reunion and celebration was had by both returning volunteers (350) and first time volunteers (150). It is pure joy to see the hands and feet of our community come together to provide to those in need.   Everything provided by food drives from area schools, toy drives by local groups, food sponsors, annual money donors, major money donors and logistic donors went above and beyond to provide for this year's success.   We hope this letter of thanks gets to all who took the time to help both financially and physically, and also to those who received the gift of food and toys, that this act of kindness will be remembered throughout the new year.   On behalf of the Dallas Christmas Cheer board of directors, to all the donors and volunteers, again we say thank you and look forward to seeing you next year.   Warren and Sue Lamb   Dallas   Neighborhood made   carolers feel good   The Spring Valley Rider 4-H Horse Club of Polk County sang its way through the LaCreole neighborhood the evening of Dec. 21. The horses, riders, walkers and parents were decorated in Christmas lights, garlands and good cheer.   We want to thank the folks who politely listened to our songs and applauded, petted the horses, thanked us graciously, brought out warm homemade cookies, and supplied us with candy canes.   We will see you again next year. On behalf of Spring Valley Riders members, leaders and parents, thanks again.   Carol Harris   West Salem   Community big key   for Adopt A Family   Since the early 1990s, the Dallas Adopt A Family program has matched businesses, organizations and individuals with families in need. Once again, with the community's support, this year's program was a great success.   Together, businesses, organizations and individuals adopted 188 families, providing them with food boxes and Christmas presents, ensuring a joyful Christmas for recipients.    Dallas has a long-standing tradition of support for Dallas Adopt A Family and we are honored to be part of this generous community. We especially wish to acknowledge:    • The Evangelical Bible Church for hosting the distribution days.    • The donors; businesses, churches, organizations and individuals that adopted one and often multiple families.    • The Polk County Itemizer-Observer for its coverage of Dallas Adopt A Family.   • The numerous volunteers who took applications, wrapped toys and helped with distribution.    • The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center for its help collecting applications and coordinating the event.    • To Fowler Affiliates for donating printing and funding for the project.    On behalf of the Dallas Adopt A Family Committee, we wish to express our sincere gratitude to the community of Dallas for its continued support of the Dallas Adopt A Family and look forward to working together again next Christmas.   Vickie Boer   Dallas   Generosity shown   via clothing drive   We, the Darr Family, would once again like to express our gratitude and sincere thanks to those who donated warm clothing for our 2013 "warm and fuzzy" clothing drive.   We donated all the articles of clothing to four different agencies, all in Polk County. Every year we are amazed by the number of coats, jackets, hats, gloves and socks that we receive to help those in need to stay warm.   We also would like to thank Mr. Loren Faxon, owner of Starlite Lanes Bowling Center in Dallas, for always allowing our drop box in his business to serve as a collection center for the clothing.   Deb Darr   Falls City   Better crosswalks   needed along 99W   Monmouth is a city of about 10,000 residents and the home of many Western Oregon University students. Its residential areas are split by the north-south, two-lane Pacific Avenue (Highway 99W), creating essentially a barrier to safe crossing for pedestrians.   In the full distance of Pacific Avenue used by pedestrians, with the exception of the signal at Main Street, there are only two marked crosswalks at corners, making a hazardous undertaking for anyone wanting to cross.   A short drive north on Highway 99W shows the small city of Amity with enhanced pedestrian crosswalks on every corner at all intersections through the city of one-quarter the population of Monmouth. Driving across the Cascade Mountains to the small city of Sisters shows the same concern for pedestrian safety by having enhanced crosswalks at every corner of every intersection.   So why can't the Monmouth city councilors and manager show the same concern for pedestrian safety and city livability as other cities with a quarter the population as Monmouth?   Previous questions over the years concerning crosswalks directed at the Monmouth government have been answered by blaming Oregon Department of Transportation for the lack thereof. The examples of Amity and Sisters seem to counter that answer.   So when is Monmouth going to have a safer way to cross the highway?   Paul Sieber   Monmouth


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