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The spirit of giving

This story has been repeated countless times over the years. The names of those who give are the same, with newcomers making a difference too.

Needy families are not identified for the readers, however, it still warms your heart to hear that the Christmas spirit is alive and well in New London and beyond.

This year, Anytime Fitness-New London Club Manager Nikki Schmallenberg organized a “giving tree” at the fitness club. With the help of Beth from Familiar Grounds and Steve from the Tanning Supply shop in Weyauwega, about 25 “wish” ornaments were arranged on the tree at the club.

Within five days, all the ornaments were taken by Anytime Fitness members to fulfill the wishes written on them. The wishes totaled about 40 presents and over $250 in gift cards.

“I planned in November to get the club involved with the community during the holiday season,” recalls Schmallenberg. “The idea of adopting a family intrigued me. I was familiar with a family that was the adoptee one year.” She said that a member mentioned that Parkview Elementary may have a family to adopt. “I was introduced to Shandee Kempf who was the organizer for this program and asked her to give me the biggest family she had – which ended up being a family of six,” she said. “I created a “giving tree” in my club and by day five, the ornaments were all gone! I am very proud of my members. They volunteered to help this family out during the holidays.”

Schmallenberg hopes that next year there will be even more people who work together to support local families who are going through tough times.

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