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December 19, 2013

Downtown event boosts Basket fund

Miracle Committee makes large donation

TERRE HAUTE — Wrapping up another successful year, Miracle on 7th Street’s organizers gave a gift that keeps on giving.

The Miracle Committee, which puts on the annual downtown holiday event, on Thursday presented a $2,000 donation to the Tribune-Star’s Christmas Basket Fund, one of the charities benefiting from the event.

The presentation was held at Images Photography on Wabash Avenue in downtown Terre Haute.

Miracle Board Member Terry Hogan said the Miracle event raised $15,000 this year and about 4,000 pounds of food.

About 22 local nonprofit groups benefited from the event, mostly from participating in the event’s Tree Decorating Contest.

In addition to the Tribune-Star’s Christmas Basket Fund, other charities benefiting from Miracle on 7th Street are Catholic Charities, Salvation Army’s Christmas Food Basket program, 14th and Chestnut’s Grumbling Tummies program and St. Benedict’s Soup Kitchen. The two latter programs received the food donations.

Miracle night was held on Dec. 6 and was attended by thousands of people.

“It’s a chance for all the merchants down here to have a big evening and a chance for us to raise money for charities,” Hogan said of the Miracle event.

“And give back,” he added.

The donations are being distributed to various charities over the next two weeks, he said.

Tribune-Star Publisher B.J. Riley accepted the Miracle donation, saying it “makes a big difference.”

“It’s terrific to see the community being so giving,” Riley said.

For about 90 years, the annual Tribune-Star Christmas Basket Fund drive has been helping Terre Haute families enjoy a good Christmas meal.

The goal this year is to deliver 500 baskets to needy families on Christmas Eve.

Monetary donations and gently used books are still welcome and needed.

The Salvation Army provides the names of basket recipients to the Tribune-Star.

Capt. Gordon Hoag of the Salvation Army says, “There is so much need in our community. … We just have to be able to take care of these people.”

The Tribune-Star “has a wonderful tradition of helping several hundred families,” he said in an interview after the check presentation.

For some of the families, they must decide whether to pay rent and keep a roof over their heads “or splurge and get something for the kids,” he said. “Christmas should be the most wonderful time of the year, and that’s what we want to make it for everyone.”

The Tribune-Star Christmas Basket Fund received the biggest donation from Miracle on 7th Street, Hogan said, “because it’s downtown [and] part of our daily lives,” he said.

“It’s our hometown newspaper.”

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