Zionsville Times Sentinel

November 21, 2012

League’s holiday basket program enters 75th year

Zionsville Times Sentinel

Zionsville — Members of the Lebanon Welfare League are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Christmas food basket program that originated in 1937.

“We are looking forward to this service once again this year,” said  Sue Ellen Muncie, chairwoman of the event. “Each year seems to get harder with the economy going up and down.”

Since 1962, when founder Harry Jones retired, the Kappa Delta Phi sorority has coordinated the project. Last year the sorority’s 24 members organized financial and food item donations into Christmas Day meals for more than 490 people, Muncie said.

Muncie said the LWL works with The Caring Center, 1230 Ransdell Court, Lebanon, to collect names of families in need. “This helps with (avoiding) duplications,” she said. “Already, families are calling, wanting to be sponsored.”

Last year, more than 200 people filed early requests for food baskets.

In 2010, 46 families received sponsors; donations from the public formed the bulk of the food baskets that served nearly 500 people.

Anyone who would like to receive a Christmas basket dinner should fill out an application at The Caring Center.

The Lebanon Welfare League also seeks financial donations to help defray the costs of meals for the families that do not receive sponsors. The money is used to buy items for those Christmas dinners, Muncie said.

Those interested in sponsoring a family should contact Muncie at 765-482-3299.

Monetary donations may be sent to the Lebanon Welfare League, c/o Lamar & Lamar, 120 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon, IN 46052.

The Christmas basket tradition began in 1937, when Jones, a co-founder of what is now Lamar & Lamar Insurance, anonymously donated food baskets for families. When Jones retired in 1962, he asked the now late Adeline Green if the sorority would take over the project. They’ve directed the effort ever since.