It was 98 fewer children than last year — and that was a surprise.

We were expecting 600 or more again this year, but we are not disappointed. It is better to have a hundred less than a hundred more than last year.

The good news is we raised $34,380. Our goal was to raise $30,000.

We were able to raise this amount from all our loyal supporters and many new contributors. I am very grateful for all the generosity.

— I have some additional contributions to publish today. Barbara Sturtevant sent $50 in memory of Art Sturtevant, an anonymous donor sent $72, Judith Johnson sent $25, $20 was received from Kameron Labbe in memory of Alex Labbe who passed away at 13, and another anonymous donor sent us $25. These donations totaled $192. Thank you, friends, for your generosity.

I wish to thank Joshua’s Restaurant and Tavern for another exceptional donation, The Harry S. Crooker and Sons and their employees for their generous donation, the Brunswick Junior High School sixth-graders for their extraordinary donation, Wilson’s Drug Store for their generous donation, The Reny’s Charitable Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Litwinski, Morning Glory Natural Foods, The Robert Williams Real Estate Office, the Midcoast Regional Development Authority, and all the other businesses and private donors who again this year helped us reach our goal.

And to our many donors who purchased and then donated all the dolls, games and toys, we say thank you.

And to my dedicated ladies who knitted all the mittens, blankets, sweaters, scarves and hats, thank you very much.

I also wish to thank inmates at the Two Bridges Jail for their donation.

Also I want to thank Access Self Storage for their kindness in hosting our operation again this year. We couldn’t have done it without your help. I am deeply humbled by your response to my requests.

— I have to thank my volunteers who again carried out a magnificent job. We had a blend of new faces this year who worked right along our veterans. Thank you to Octave and Peggy Thiboutot, Bob and Beth Thiboutot, Dave and June Dorion, Brian Hatch, Matt Hodges, Carol Welsh, Fred Mitchell, Rosanna Welner, Mary Wilkins, Barbara and David Raymond, Linda Bauer, Al Bourque, Dave McElwain, Mort Hamlin, Bud and Jean Aumick, Beverly Gray, Sharon Belanger, Lyni Maccleary, Tina Black, Gill Wildes, Bill Waite, Kevin Leeman, Kimberly Brown, Joe Fournier, Thomas Elliott Jr., Tom Mahoney, Angela Bracket, Mickael Eastman, Jaime, Mike Murphy, Rod Talbot, Dudley and Louise Leavitt, and all the staff at Access Storage. It has been a pleasure working with all of you.

— And to all the readers and supporters of the Santa Claus Fund, I want to thank you for the past six years that you have followed my column. This is my last year as chairman and I am going to be behind the scenes next year. It has been my pleasure.

Sincerely, Dave Desjardins, chairman of the Santa Claus Fund Inc.

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