The strong community spirit that exists in the region has been demonstrated for many years by The Mining Journal Cheer Club, and this year is no exception.
Donors young and old have been dropping off items for the annual gift drive, which provides the Salvation Army in Marquette and Ishpeming with a large amount of gifts for distribution to needy families.
Businesses jump into the Christmas spirit, as well, with owners and employees contributing significantly to the effort.
Some businesses put their own twist on the gift collection, such as the Marquette Mountain Ski Area. Each year Marquette Mountain sets up a day when skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes for free, as long as they donate a new toy.
This year the lift ticket-for-a-toy day was Friday, and this week Marquette Mountain general manager Vern Barber hauled a full-size pickup packed with about 230 toys to The Mining Journal office for the Cheer Club.
Such a wonderful donation is greatly appreciated by Salvation Army officials, who said there are many families spread across the area that are in need of some assistance this Christmas.
It isn't just the large donations that make a difference, either, but individuals who drop off a little something also have an impact.
Many donors said they contribute every year to the Cheer Club as a way to honor family members who may not be here for the holidays anymore. Others donate in the names of their children or grandchildren as a way to instill the value of helping out others in our community.
We hope other area businesses will follow Marquette Mountain's lead, as well as individuals, and find in their hearts to pitch in so we can brighten the holidays for as many area residents as possible.
Donations will be accepted through Dec. 14 at Mining Journal offices in Marquette and Ishpeming, the Marquette and Ishpeming Salvation Army offices, the Marquette Township hall, ACE Hardware in Gwinn and Bell Hospital in Ishpeming.