MUNSTER | As Dan Gescheidler sorted through the mail for the Good Neighbor Cheer Fund in The Times' Munster office, he had to do a double take on one particular note.
He said he counted the zeros and realized the fund had received an anonymous $5,000 donation. The donor left a note stating, "In memory of Newtown, Conn."
The donation comes days after the one-year anniversary of the Newtown shooting where 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter also killed his mother and himself.
The anonymous donation brings the Cheer Fund total to $21,641 as of Tuesday night. Gescheidler and his father, John Gescheidler, manage the fund and hope to raise at least $25,000 this year.
The group works with The Salvation Army Hammond/Munster Corps to distribute food vouchers to families throughout Northwest Indiana.
John Gescheidler said officials at The Salvation Army think there will be a greater need this year for food vouchers. Last week the fund was nearly $10,000 short of its goal.
He said Tuesday's anonymous donation really gave the fund a boost.
"It came out of nowhere," he said. "We are pleased to be where we are right now."
To donate to the fund, visit www.hammondnational.com and scroll to the bottom of the page to click on the PayPal link. Donations also can be sent to The Times, 601 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321. Checks must be made payable to the Good Neighbor Christmas Cheer Fund.