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Pike makes two large contributions to TNS Christmas Fund

(left-right) TNS Christmas Fund representative Tom Gallant, Alex Phelps of Pike Industries and Tilton Police Chief Bob Cormier unload 550 pounds of canned and dried goods donated by local Pike employees for the annual TNS Christmas Fund's food drive. Donna Rhodes. (click for larger version)
November 25, 2009
BELMONT — Pike Industries had a special gift for one local organization whose representative likened it to Christmas in November.

Tom Gallant, one of the organizing forces behind the Tilton-Northfield-Sanbornton Christmas Fund, was notified that Pike had designated six charitable organizations in New Hampshire for employees to donate to this holiday season, and the TNS Christmas Fund was one of them. What he didn't know was how great this contribution by the local Pike plants and offices actually was.

Pike's junior accountant from the Belmont office, Lindsey Mills, handed Gallant a check for $975.84 to go toward clothing, food and gifts for local families over the holiday season.

"We matched every dollar donated with another dollar from Pike's," she told him. "In addition, we held a food drive and added a dollar more for every pound of food collected. It was all collected from our Belmont, Northfield and Sanbornton operations and we're very pleased to make this donation toward your efforts for local residents."

Collections in canned and dried good for the TNS Christmas Fund totaled 550 pounds, something that Gallant was also overjoyed to hear.

"This is a tremendous contribution, one we've never had before and certainly could use. We really appreciate it," Gallant said.

The fund is in its 23rd year of a neighbor-helping-neighbor type operation, working solely on donations to assist residents in the three towns. Each year Gallant and his wife Becky, working with the Cullen family whose began the fund, gather warm coats, hats and mittens along with food items and gifts to assist families and the elderly in the Winnisquam area. With the economy dragging donations down this year, Gallant said this was a real boost to the fund.

"This is a real bonus for us. I was really getting concerned about what we'd collect this year, but this will go a long way toward helping a lot of people," he said.

Later in the day, Gallant met with Pike's Region One coordinator for New Hampshire, Alex Phelps, who pulled up to the TNS Fund distribution center in Tilton with a pick-up truck full of food. Phelps was key in getting Pike's sponsorship of the charitable organization rolling, as he is also a yearly participant in the distributions process for the fund.

"Alex has worked with us for almost 15 years now and I really have to thank him for assisting us in getting this wonderful contribution," Gallant said as he and Tilton Police Chief Bob Cormier helped unload the truck.

While Pike's generosity will go a long way in helping the annual drive, Gallant said that more donations are still needed. They are especially in need of toys and warm clothing, he noted. Anyone who would like to donate holiday toys for local children may contact Christine Raffaelly at 286-8797. To donate food, new winter clothing or cash to the fund, people are asked to call Tom Gallant at 286-4279.

"There's a lot of families who need help out there and I have never turned down an elderly person. The more money we can put together, the more year-round help we can give with fuel oil and other things," said Gallant. The distribution date this year is set for Dec. 19, and anyone willing to assist the TNS Fund volunteers along with local fire departments and civic organizations in assembling the food boxes or making deliveries can also contact Gallant for more details.

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