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More than 50 organizations benefit from Grandpa Gang effort

ALTON – Visitors poured into Christmas Wonderland in near record numbers in 2016 and that success means financial gifts to area organizations.

More than $40,000 in donations has been distributed to more than 50 civic organizations courtesy of the Grandpa Gang and Christmas Wonderland, a direct result of strong holiday seasonal visitors to the landmark Alton attraction.

The annual event, spearheaded by the volunteer Grandpa Gang, a group of mostly retired local people, features more than 4 million lights strung throughout Rock Spring Park, visits with Santa Claus in the Enchanted Forest and carriage rides through the park.

“We are so pleased with the support Christmas Wonderland has received,” head Grandpa Al Cowgill said. “That support means we can help others in our surrounding communities and that is the true meaning of the holiday season.”

Area organizations receiving financial donations from Christmas Wonderland include:

1st Presbyterian Church
5A’s Animal Shelter
AHS National Honor Society
AHS Orchestra
Alton Amphitheater Commission
Alton Boys & Girls Club
Alton Fireworks Committee
Alton Godfrey Rotary Club
Alton Optimist Club
Alton Park & Recreation
Alton School District
Behavior Alternatives
Bethalto Boys & Girls Club
Beverly Farms Foundation
Boots on the Green
Boy Scout Troop 1
Crisis Food Center
Cub Scout Pack 3001
East Alton 13 School District
East Alton American Legion-Scholarship Fund
East Alton Rotary
East End Improvement
Friends of Haskell
Evergreen Place
Gordon Moore Restoration
Girl Scout Troop 71
Grafton United Methodist Church
Hope Community Center
Hope Rescue
Land of Lincoln Honor Flights
Mississippi Valley Christian School
Montessori School
North Alton Godfrey Business Council
Oasis Women’s Center
Otter Creek Historical Society
Phi Tau Omega Society
Power of the Giraffe
Pride Inc.
Riverbend Animal Shelter
Riverbend Community Center
Riverbend Head Start
River of Life Youth
Royal Family Kids Camp/Cornerstone Church
Salvation Army
Senior Services Plus
St. Vincent De Paul Society
ToddleTowne Learning Center
Wreaths Across America

 – From the Illinois Business Journal

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