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Peasley: Woodstock girl stil brings 'Hope' after passing

This will be a somber Christmas as we ponder the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Conn.

We are strengthened by the knowledge that this is the Holy Season, but we continue to search for reasons why these tragedies are happening.

We turn to the scriptures and in this we find comfort.

Let me tell you how Project MistleToes is bringing comfort and joy to patients in hospitals this year.

In December 2009, Hope Fuller, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, held a Christmas sock exchange with her good friends Nora Brown, Grace Beattie and Tess Devinger.

Hope, daughter of Jay and Deb Fuller and sister of JD Fuller, participated in Woodstock Summer Theater at the Woodstock Opera House. She was a student at Creekside Middle School.

Hope died in March 2010.

In her memory the following Christmas, the three friends collected socks to distribute to patients at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. They collected socks at Creekside and Mary Endres Schools; 300 pairs of socks were donated for distribution.

For Christmas 2011, lime green (Hope’s favorite color) laundry baskets were placed in 10 schools in Woodstock and Wonder Lake.

Nine hundred pairs of colorful Christmas socks were collected for sick children and delivered to local hospitals and to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, where Hope was a patient.

This year, Project MistleToes expanded to 17 collection sites. Three businesses and 14 schools participated and collected more than 2,000 pairs.

Harrison School in Wonder Lake and Dirksen School in Chicago each collected more than 260 pairs of socks. One thousand pairs of socks were delivered to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago on Dec.15; 200 were sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

More than 800 pairs of socks have been given to Centegra Health and Mercy Health Systems for distribution to patients.

A wonderful tribute to Hope Fuller. Project MistleToes brings good cheer to children and adults in hospitals at Christmastime.

• • •

Woodstock Noon Rotary Club is seeking donations for this year’s Christmas Clearing House. CCH, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, assists needy families in Woodstock School District 200 area with food, toys and clothing each Christmas. Rotary Club has led this project for 40 years. Distribution to 1,100 families and more than 1,700 children was Saturday.

The budget for this year is $46,000. Current collections are $31,000. Rotary Club is asking for donations to meet the needs of families and children.

Checks may be made to Christmas Clearing House, and mailed to P.O. Box 53, Woodstock, IL 60098 or deposited directly into an account at BMO Harris Bank. For additional information, call Joe Starzynski 815-245-4954.

• • •

In the spirit of the season: Merry Christmas to all!

• Don Peasley has been editor, columnist and historian in McHenry County since October 1947. He began his association with Shaw Publications in 1950. 815-338-1533

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