Helping for the holidays

Published 8:25 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Albert Lea bar launches fundraiser for Semcac organization

Growing up, the family of Harold’s Bar bartender Korissa Bordeaux sometimes received assistance so she could receive Christmas gifts.

Today, Bordeaux is returning the favor by ensuring local children in need will receive Christmas gifts.

Harold’s is accepting gift-wrapped and financial donations starting Wednesday for a fundraising campaign in association with Semcac. The drive lasts through Monday.

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Gift-wrapped items are requested to include the gender and age of the intended recipient. Those who donate will receive a free shot, and the bar will still accept donations for the fundraiser after Monday. 

Bordeaux was the main driver behind the plan. She said she was motivated to help give from her upbringing and the holiday season.

“Me as a child came from a family of need, and when I came back home — I am not in that case anymore, but going back home, it was like kind of a big reality check that just because I’m out of it, there’s so many people in that situation,” Bordeaux said.

All donated items are expected to stay in the community, and Bordeaux said if not for donated gifts, Semcac recipients would likely not be able to receive Christmas presents.

“We had used some of these programs that helped, as well, where we got holiday gifts,” Bordeaux said of when she was young. “And if it weren’t for those programs, there might have been some Christmases where we didn’t get holiday gifts.”

As part of the fundraiser, Alamco Wood Products committed to match funding if $15,000 is raised for Semcac by Dec. 10.

The assistance Harold’s Bar is providing with fundraising is only a portion of the help bar owner Todd Haroldson has given to the community.

Haroldson has led efforts to donate to the Take a Kid Fishing event since it began and donated money to the Albert Lea High School robotics program.

“Our goal is to help children in the community,” he said.

Haroldson thanked the customers of Harold’s Bar for helping the business raise money for children’s activities.

“I’m always, forever, trying to give thanks to the customers and give thanks to the customers that donate to the kids,” he said. “Because they are the ones who are actually the backbone of this whole thing. We are a facilitator — we just facilitated to make sure that it happens.”

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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