Christmas for the Needy has had its most successful year yet, and has expanded to meet the growing need. In addition to the toys and clothing at the Army Reserve Center and the food at the First Baptist Church, good second-hand clothing was offered at the Presbyterian Church, and a third day of food distribution was added to the schedule.

Christmas for the Needy has had its most successful year yet, and has expanded to meet the growing need. In addition to the toys and clothing at the Army Reserve Center and the food at the First Baptist Church, good second-hand clothing was offered at the Presbyterian Church, and a third day of food distribution was added to the schedule.

One of the organizers, Rachel Andersen says, "We had 355 families come through the armory, representing 1,576 people, including 895 children. We had 15 families that cancelled or were no-shows, but that was balanced out by 17 walk-in families."

George Schaeffer, responsible for food distribution at the First Baptist Church, says that a rough count showed a total of 590 families came through Wednesday through Friday, with an average of four people per family. The Presbyterian site was also very well attended.

Matriarch of the movement, Milly Bloomquist, 95, was a central figure and in fine health and spirits. About 25 Penn Yan Academy students and 18 from Dundee High School took this time from their studies to carry and fetch for the visitors and the older volunteers.

Volunteer Linda Raide says the visitors expressed how much better the displays and flow of people at the armory was this year. "They said they felt like they were really shopping, and were very glad to come into a reception room rather than standing in the cold for hours." Much of the credit for that success goes to new volunteers like Andersen and Donna Johnston, who have brought fresh eyes and organizational skills to the effort.