By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer
A total of 687 children in the Corbin area have been signed up for this year’s Southeast Kentucky Empty Stocking Fund.
Those signups were held last Thursday and Friday at Forest Hills Bowling Lanes.
The total is well above the 500-600 children expected to be served this year. Last year, the campaign served just over 500 children.
Campaign president and Corbin Rotary Club Member Joe Caldwell noted this year’s number of children signed up is among the highest since the campaign began in 1988.
“It’s about like 2006, which was the year after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. That year we served 788 children. That was the most we ever signed up in our 25-year history,” he said.
Caldwell added this year’s money goal will be $25,000, the same as last year. Donations are welcome for the Empty Stocking Fund, and corporate sponsors can contact him if they would like to help out the campaign.
While the sign-ups have ended, eligibility for children to be included in the project continues, with solicitations for donations announced in the Times-Tribune shortly afterward. Once contributions begin coming in, donors and gift levels are recognized, which continues through December.
The Southeast Kentucky Empty Stocking Fund is a joint effort between the Corbin Rotary Club and the Times-Tribune. The fund provides shoes, a blanket, boots, an age-appropriate wrapped gift and candy to needy children. Gifts and other items are then purchased by Rotary Club members and ultimately unloaded, recognized and wrapped for a party held a few days before Christmas.
The gifts will be wrapped the night of Thursday, Dec. 20, at a location to be named later.
The giveaway and party will be Friday, Dec. 21, at Forest Hills Bowling Lanes. The opening ceremonies will start at 10:45 a.m. The first party begins at 11 a.m., while the second party starts at 1 p.m.
If you’d like to donate, you can make tax-deductible checks payable to the Southeast Kentucky Empty Stocking Fund. They can be mailed to P. O. Box 511, Corbin, KY 40702.
For more information, contact Caldwell at 524-6475 or 878-7935, any Corbin Rotary Club member, or Corbin’s United Effort’s Executive Director, Christina Bentley at 528-7523.