Hard-working employees of a Bellefontaine salon and its benevolent clients and community members joined together to make this Christmas season brighter for a multitude of local residents through a holiday basket raffle that has grown exponentially since its start five years ago.
Kelley Yule from Kelley’s Designers Loft, 113 Powers St., Bellefontaine, said the raffle drawing hosted Thursday evening has raised the most funds since the event’s inception — a total of $14,610, with all of the funds benefiting area charities.
The raffle began in 2016 with one basket that raised $1,300 to adopt local children for Christmas, followed by three baskets the next year.
Last year, the salon organizers thought that they had topped out when they raised $12,000 — about $8,000 more than the previous year, but the area residents and businesses contributed generously this year for the 13 baskets up for the raffle.
“Today, I’ve been wondering if I just dreamt up what happened last night,” Yule said Friday. “It was a wonderful showing of support from our community that will enable us to bless so many different people this year.
“With COVID and everything going on last year, it seemed like people wanted to be part of something and to help out, so we didn’t know if we’d raise quite as much this year.
“The raffle ticket sales started out slowly in November, but the last few weeks, it’s been a frenzy. We had people in the salon last night buying tickets up until the drawing at 7 p.m.”
The raffle proceeds go toward a number of area organizations — with Yule and her fellow salon employees Kim Summers and Darla LeVan already starting to shop for the 20 children that they have adopted for Christmas through Lutheran Community Services. They also will be adopting several other families at Christmastime as well.
In addition, the fundraiser will benefit the Logan County Cancer Society that serves local cancer patients, along with Angel’s Closet at Mary Rutan Hospital, which provides clothing for hospital patients, who might have had their clothing damaged in an automobile accident or etc.
The raffle helps to sponsor area veterans in their travels to the nation’s capital through Logan County Veterans to D.C., and the event also provides assistance to area pharmacies for people experiencing financial hardship with affording their prescription medications.
“I had a gentleman tell me how much the prescription program helped him, and it brought me to tears,” Yule said. “It means a lot that we can help people receive the medication that they need to stay healthy, and so that they still have the funds to care for their other needs.”
Donations for the baskets were collected starting in October. The salon owner said a number of businesses and area residents contributed high-value items, including a new Xbox donated by her nephew, along with monetary donations as well. Kelley’s Designers Loft also pulled together a beauty basket with more than $2,600 worth of products.
“The baskets turned out beautifully and we’re so grateful for all of the help of our Logan County community. We had a winner from last year write us a check for $500 for the program, and several others write checks like that, too; we are amazed by their giving spirits.”
Yule expressed appreciation to LeVan and Summers as well for all of their organizational work leading up to the event.
“It is definitely a group effort — I couldn’t do it with all of their help behind-the-scenes.”