For the sixth year in a row, Jim and Sharon Jamieson, along with their non-profit Spirit of Christmas Foundation, will be helping hundreds of locals in need have a holly and jolly holiday season.
Raising funds for these needy families, the couple is holding its annual Spirit of Christmas benefit Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 4 p.m. on into the night, at the American Legion Post 274, 899 Buttonwood Drive, Fort Myers Beach.
"We are phenomenally proud of the Spirit of Christmas, helping about 200 to 250 families so far, with 200 to 300 little children," said Jim Jamieson, co-runner of the organization. "This isn't going to change, because we've been blessed with two phenomenal gifts from outside providers: The Chris and Joni Hall Family Foundation, and the Sons of the American Legion Post 274. Between Chris and Joni, who are extremely generous, the Sons of the American Legion, who are extremely generous, and WalMart, who is always happy to assist us where we take our families shopping, we are just so grateful to these three big contributors as well as everyone who helps the Spirit of Christmas Foundation, from our thoughtful volunteers to our gracious sponsors and donors. That is what this fund-raiser is all about."
Jim and Sharon Jameison are working on their 6th annual Spirit of Christmas fund-raiser, helping literally hundreds of local children and their families have a very special holiday. Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER.
Funds raised from the Dec. 7 benefit will be used to host a shopping day for the hand-selected families, who Sharon and Jim find through local churches, schools, and the pediatric cancer ward at HealthPark Hospital.
"What we do is we chase down the toughest of the tough families who are just not going to be able to have a Christmas because they just don't have the money to do it," Jim said. "Especially with the sick kids at HealthPark, we know their family is driving every penny they have just to keep their children alive. We know that those families need every penny that they've got to go toward medicine and hospital bills. By giving them a Christmas, it makes the holiday season all the better for them."
"This fund-raiser is going to be such a great time," Jim said. "We will have plenty of raffles, silent and live auctions, 50/50s, great food and drink specials from the American Legion, live music and entertainment, and so many wonderful prizes donated by our gracious local businesses, from golf packages to resort stays, and everything in between."
The phenomenal annual silent auction will still take place at the benefit this year, full of fabulous prizes big and small.
"We will have our annual silent auction, where you can bid on some very beautiful gifts and as highest bidder, you may win a gift for a very reasonable price, below its valued price," Jim said. "Also, if you don't want to bid against anyone, we'll have a 'Buy It Now' price, and you can walk away with it still?at a great price."
A new bachelor addition
Jim and Sharon have added a new highlight to their upcoming fund-raiser a Date Night with three handsome and local gentlemen.
"All three are realtors, all live on Fort Myers Beach, handsome men, and they're all great guys," Jim said.
The bachelors will be raffled with special tickets, and the winner will choose which three ladies will escort them on their lovely evening out. So, to all you married or already-taken ladies no worries. This is a fun way to get a very cool holiday gift for your lady friends out there.
"With your $25 contribution to a good cause, The Spirit of Christmas, the winning ticket will be able to choose the three ladies who want to go out that evening," Jim said. "They will be picked up in classy transportation, enjoy dining at a very nice restaurant, and receive a great bouquet of flowers. It will be a lovely evening out for the ladies. And, hey, if three ladies pool together on a ticket, about $8.33 each, what a great night out for that contribution!"
If interested in purchasing tickets to the Gentlemen's Date Night prior to the event, stop into the Beach Bulletin/Beach Observer office (19260 San Carlos Blvd.) anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Jim and Sharon are sure to thank all who have been a part of the benefit.
"We would like to give a big thank you to the American legion for hosting our benefit. Beautiful gifts have been offered to us for the raffles and auctions. There will be numerous nice and valuable gifts generously donated by local businesses. Thank you to all who are part of our benefit big and small thank you."
There is no charge to attend the benefit, and anyone making any type of donation will be given something in return.
"By coming in the door, totally gratis no charge you already get to enjoy great live entertainment, a shot at a great door prize, a very reasonable dinner and extremely reasonable drink specials to enjoy an evening with the Spirit of Christmas and the American Legion," Jim said.
"Anyone who comes to the event and gives us any contribution, we're going to return the favor," Jim said. "They will be entered into a drawing to receive some beautiful gifts presented by the Spirit of Christmas. If they give the gift of $50 for our 'Adopt a Child' program, we'll match that contribution, and they will be added into a drawing of even larger gift proportions."
For more information on the Dec. 7 fund-raiser, or to see how you can help the cause, visit SpiritOfChristmasInc.com.