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Anonymous in Athol comes through again

by MIKE PATRICK
Staff Writer | December 24, 2020 1:09 AM

Just when you thought maybe he'd disappeared, Anonymous in Athol showed up.

Not literally. The celebrity globe trotter monitors Press Christmas for All from wherever he is, and he touches base with his volunteer friends in Coeur d'Alene every year.

Thrilled to be known only as Anonymous in Athol or even A in A, the secret Super Santa had a $10,000 check delivered just in the Saint Nick of time Wednesday — time to make this year's campaign even more of a record-setter than ever.

At $189,000, A in A is the No. 1 CFA donor dating back to 2001, according to Eric Haakenson, who tracks donations for CFA.

"I was so proud to see how successful Christmas for All has been during this difficult year," he said, "and I congratulate everyone on smashing the old record."

With a chuckle that sounded a little like the Jolly Old Elf's himself, A in A explained his strategy for the last-minute, five-digit present.

"It looked early on like you were going to reach your goal of $200,000, which was quite a bit more than last year ($181,000)," he said. "Then when you announced CFA was going to really reach for the stars and try to set a new record, I had an idea."

That idea was to take the record to a new level, setting the bar $10,000 above where it would have been without him.

"Call it an investment in trying to bring out the best in donors next Christmas," he said. "If we could do so much this year, why, let's do that and a little more in 2021."

Anonymous in Athol often issues challenges to the community during the fundraising campaign. When the program has made goal, A in A has always played a major role, sometimes donating up to $20,000.

"I love North Idaho and just want to do my part," he said.

INFO BOX

Press Christmas for All has shattered its all-time fundraising record.

The Christmas Day edition of The Press will have an unofficial tally for the 2020 campaign.

DONORS

Richard and Jill Jurvelin; Bob and Linda Miller; Maidy Kress; Dean and Cheryl Merrill; Steve and Vawn Fishbaugh; Deborah Morphis; Steven and Rae Carnahan; Wesley and Mary Kolb; Christopher and Dorothy Schaffer; Allen and Gisela Peterson; Stephen and Carollane Falcinella; Dale and Jeanette Paddack; Robert and Kathy Verburg; Joyce Barton; Bill and Judy Drake; Patricia Benson; Bob and Tanya Benson; Francine Archambault, in memory of my cats; Valerie Podesta; Gary and Donna Monroe; David O'Mohundro

OVER $500

Anonymous in Athol, John and Kathy Pierce; Gregory Speer; Wayne and Deborah Burton; Koerner's Furniture; Scott and Marae Carr