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Merry Christmas, everyone!

Because of your generosity, more than 10,000 children in our neighborhoods will awaken this morning and find Santa has arrived and left behind a new, quality Christmas gift.

The Wisconsin State Journal Empty Stocking Club has been a Madison tradition since families of State Journal staff members first started distributing Christmas gifts to the needy in 1918. It is a tradition that has survived two world wars, major conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and numerous other difficulties that took parents away from their families.

It is a tradition still. Even as many families are, at long last, beginning to find jobs in the economic recovery, there are still thousands who have no place else to turn. The Empty Stocking Club is about individual families who, often through no fault of their own, have a hard time staying afloat during individual holiday seasons. It is about families in which a parent has lost a job, or become seriously ill, or has relocated to the Madison area but hasn’t yet been able to become established.

The Empty Stocking Club is about you, the readers of the State Journal, who care about their neighbors and care about their community, who care about kids they may never meet personally.

Few of the gifts distributed at the annual Holiday Toy Depot last week will actually fit in a stocking. They included dolls and big toy trucks, tennis rackets and makeup kits, even a number of bean bag chairs. They include balls and various forms of electronics. Each year, something new is popular.

What is always popular, however, is the Spirit of Christmas, the spirit so many of you displayed this year, as in the past, by making generous contributions to help the needy children of our community. We hope that you are all blessed in return on this Christmas morning.

Since 1918, the Empty Stocking Club has provided Christmas Toys to needy children in the greater Madison area. You can help again this year. Send your gift online to or mail to:

The Empty Stocking Club

Wisconsin State Journal

Box 8056

Madison, WI 53708


Alliant Energy Corporate $2,500.00

D. Borchardt, Madison 500.00

Francesca, Audrey & Emily, Maple Bluff 264.65

Karen Opitz in memory of my mom “Jarla”, Madison 250.00

Thomas Leffler, Madison 250.00

George Hesselberg, WSJ SOS writer, helped us out this year. Now it’s our turn to help someone else. Marty & Benita Thomas, Sun Prairie 200.00

Eric Schulenburg, Madison 200.00

W. R. Thurlow, Madison 200.00

Hap & Marie Johnson, Fitchburg 200.00

George & Loraine Mael in memory of our deceased parents, Madison 150.00

In memory of Missy VonBehrens, Waunakee 150.00

On behalf of the 4 Lakes Principals’ Association Administrative Assistants, Waunakee 150.00

Bob & Deana Beckwith, Mount Horeb 100.00

Bill Beduhn & Carol Nimlos, Monona 100.00

David Sundby, Stoughton 100.00

Paul & Mary Meister, Reedsburg 100.00

Laux Family, Springdale 100.00

Helen Stanek, Spring Green 100.00

Rob, Pat & Lizzy Schultz, Mount Horeb 100.00

Tom & Diane McHugh, Madison 100.00

Joe & Bobbi Conway, Madison 100.00

Ernest Pellegrino, Middleton 100.00

Larry & Clare Keen, Waunakee 100.00

Tom & Patty Ellefson, McFarland 100.00

Jim & Julie Hagstrom, Oregon 100.00

Bonnie & Jerry Kleczka, Middleton 100.00

William J. Raftery, Middleton 100.00

Mr. Justin Kramer, Madison 100.00

Betty M. Roberts 90.00

Stephanie Lathrop, Sauk City 75.00

Mary & Mike Kaiser, Madison 50.00

Mr. Stanley C. Richardson, Madison 50.00

Robert Olson, Belleville 50.00

Jerry & Susan Christenson 50.00

In loving memory of Roberta Billing 50.00

Barbara Oleson, Fitchburg 50.00

Dick & Karen Jones, Madison 50.00

Ms. Rose Zerwick, Madison 50.00

Pam Schultz, DeForest 50.00

Ruby McFarlane, Madison 50.00

Ed & Grace Gassen, Stoughton 50.00

Linda Gorchels, Fitchburg 50.00

Julie & Dan Slattery, Waunakee 50.00

Gary & Arlys Nilles, Verona 50.00

Greg & Gail Anderson, Fitchburg 50.00

Billy Mac’s Family, Token Creek 50.00

Gary & Patty Latzke, Mount Horeb 50.00

Bob & Gayle Walkowiak, Waunakee 50.00

Chris & Linda Barker, Madison 50.00

Bill Gerke, Sun Prairie 50.00

Dorothy Edwards, Baraboo 50.00

Mr. Terry Ludkey, Marshall 50.00

In memory of Bill Paynter, DeForest 50.00

Ms. Suzan Cook, Waunakee 50.00

Harold Herbert Streckert 50.00

Gloria Kinast, Reedsburg 50.00

David Budd, Poynette 42.00

John J. Bailey, Palatine, IL 40.00

Brianna, Cameron & Elijah Krantz, Cross Plains 30.00

Amy & Mark Miller, Oregon 30.00

The Johnsons, Madison 30.00

In memory of Thor & Alice Rogeberg by James Rogeberg, Madison 30.00

Mrs. Carol Schreve, Beloit 30.00

Nick Meland, Verona 30.00

Ralph & Pat Thiede, Madison 25.00

Emily Folstad, Mount Horeb 25.00

Jenna Folstad, Mount Horeb 25.00

Pat & Rick Steimel, Dane 25.00

Joyce & Patrice McGovern, Sun Prairie 25.00

Steve & Sherri Dowdell, Columbus 25.00

Barbara Fischer, Beaver Dam 25.00

Garth & Tamra Langhammer, Brooklyn 25.00

S.R. Craven, Oregon 25.00

Mr. Robert Szewczyk, Madison 25.00

Donna M. Peterson & Ralph Peterson, Madison 25.00

Nira Scherz-Busch & Bill J. Busch, Madison 25.00

Red & Nancy Amenda, Darlington 25.00

Robb & Sara Washicheck, Stoughton 25.00

Arnie & Sonja Skrede, Madison 25.00

Joe & Jeanne Silverberg, Madison 25.00

Mr. James Leonard, DeForest 25.00

Don & Joyce Blindauer, Middleton 25.00

J.P. & Nancy Hellenbrand, Middleton 25.00

Darce Olson, Middleton 25.00

Delores & Linda Struck, Oregon 25.00

The Bleifuss Family 25.00

Marty J. Deignan, Madison 25.00

The Clarence Witt Family, Verona 25.00

Mitch & Linda Handel, Sun Prairie 25.00

Paul & Jackie Hass, Madison 25.00

Mary Jo & Gene Thieleke, Madison 25.00

Debbie Steinmetz, Madison 25.00

Mr. & Mrs. J. Filiatrault, Montello 25.00

In memory of Shirley Bowers, Verona 25.00

MJ & DS Martin, Verona 25.00

Brett & Pam Werlein, Waunakee 25.00

Leonard & Dayle Bruheim, Madison 25.00

In memory of those who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary by Jeff & Sue Bergey, Oregon 25.00

Country Women Homemakers Club - Celebrating 100 years, Lodi 20.00

Cindi Kingsbury, Mauston 20.00

Robert & Marion Beahm, Portage 20.00

In loving memory of Sally Ann Wagner, Marshall 20.00

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 248, Cottage Grove 20.00

Robert & Georgine Bentangur, Westfield 20.00

James & Eileen Rauls, LaFarge 20.00

Francis & Lorene Beers, New Glarus 20.00

Aaron & Becky Cohen, McFarland 20.00

Darlene DeLong, Madison 20.00

Katherine Bekasova, Middleton 20.00

Mrs. Yvonne Beale, Madison 20.00

In memory of Donald & Dortheia Lucey, Black Earth 20.00

Bernice Olson, Oregon 20.00

J. McCaulley, Dodgeville 20.00

Rick & Diane Gretebeck, Brodhead 15.00

Joe & Peggy Weisensel, Rio 15.00

Sam & Gary, Stoughton 15.00

Mary Ann Stoikes, Sauk City 15.00

Mary & Mark Werner, Madison 15.00

Ayiana Ann Casper, age 7, Fond du Lac 15.00

Cathy Taylor, Madison 10.00

Espen Hesselberg, Fitchburg 10.00

Eivind Hesselberg, Fitchburg 10.00

Becky & Roger, Juda 10.00

The Beaver-Schaub Group, Madison 10.00

Pauline Ostling, Madison 10.00

Liz Stark, Madison 10.00

Michael & Katherine Seigner, Beaver Dam 10.00

Darlene & Gary Schmelzer, Madison 10.00

Lois Thies, Madison 10.00

Dean & Arlene Ninneman, Reedsburg 10.00

Alex & Marta Nelson, Madison 10.00

Rodney Little, Sun Prairie 10.00

Chuck Rooster, Lake Delton 10.00

In memory of Obert & Gail Stiklestad from Katie, Luke & Lily 10.00

In memory of Henry & Joan Sveum from Chris & Julie 10.00

In memory of Grandma Tilley from Chris & Julie 10.00

Emily Sullivan family friend 5.00

Bill & Joanne Bartz, Westfield 5.00

Total Anonymous 1,330.00

Gifts Previously Received $223,288.18

Today’s Gift $11,091.65

TOTAL TO DATE $234,379.83

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