Originally created 12/25/05

Contributors beat record to help local families finance gifts, bills



Generous contributions to The Augusta Chronicle's 2005 Empty Stocking Fund have already surpassed last year's record-setting total.

As of Dec. 23, contributions to this year's Empty Stocking Fund totaled $113,364.31, the most ever collected in the fund-raiser's 75-year history. The amount is nearly $6,000 more than the $107,625.15 collected in 2004.

And the giving isn't over yet. Donations for the Empty Stocking Fund will be accepted until the middle of January.

Don Bailey, the president of The Augusta Chronicle, said Friday that he was proud the community helped set this charitable contribution record.

"This is just indicative of Augusta's commitment to helping our community," Mr. Bailey said.

The Empty Stocking Fund was created in 1930 to collect money for needy families during the holidays.

This year, the Empty Stocking Fund helped more than 1,000 families, including single mothers, unemployed fathers and sick relatives hoping to receive assistance to provide children with gifts, pay utility bills and put a roof over their families' heads.

Contributions can be sent to Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. To donate online, go to www.augustachronicle.com/emptystocking.