Sunday, April 11, 2021

On March 31, 'Joel' rhymes with 'Noel'

| March 31, 2021 1:00 AM

It's April Fools' Eve, and the last day of March.

That means Ms. Fuhl is warming up in the bullpen for her once-a-year Press pitch, that March came in and went out pretty much like a lamb, and, most significantly, that it's only 238 days until Christmas.

What, the holiday spirit we all pledge to keep the year-round has abandoned you? Maybe we can fix that with a heart-warming tale.

A number of contributors to this newspaper's annual holiday drive have asked for examples of how their generous gifts — over $300,000 last Christmas — are used by Press Christmas for All and Charity Reimagined. Here is one of those stories.

It begins with a proud pair of grandparents who are raising not only two teens, but two young granddaughters. The teens are relatives but not immediate family. When they needed loving, responsible adults, these grandparents were there for them.

Their simple but well cared-for home had lost use of its furnace and was relying on a woodstove, which needed repair. All the couple asked for was assistance repairing the woodstove, but Charity Reimagined founder Maggie Lyons was thinking outside the log-burning box. She instructed a volunteer to call J.A. Bertsch Heating and Cooling to request a quote on a new furnace.

That was quickly done, and the number was $3,200. Maggie called the company to see if they were familiar with Press Christmas for All and if maybe they could install a new furnace at cost.

Joel Bertsch himself took her call. Yes, he was familiar with the program, and in fact, he informed Maggie, his company appreciated what Christmas for All and Charity Reimagined were doing. J.A. Bertsch is a contributor, he added. And then he blew Maggie away.

J.A. Bertsch installed the $3,200 furnace at no charge to anybody. It was a gift with no strings attached. Nobody at the business on Government Way even knows Maggie conspired with The Press to show a little love to the selfless donor through this editorial.

Fact is, The Press had hoped to interview the amazing grandparents, but they declined for the same reason others shy away from having their stories told. They're proud people who don't want anyone feeling sorry for them.

Well, pity is the furthest thing from our minds today. We recognize a fine company comprised of wonderful people providing a hand up to neighbors in need. Even with summer quickly sneaking up on us, March 31 is as good a time as any to say thank you, and merry Christmas.