COEUR d'ALENE - Thanks to a $5,000 donation from the Huckabay Foundation, Coeur d'Alene out-raised Spokane for the second year in a row Saturday during the Salvation Army's Mayor vs. Mayor Ring Off.
That's right, when the kettles were opened, there was a $5,000 check from the foundation out of Nevada, signed by John Huckabay.
That skyrocketed Coeur d'Alene's total to $9,567, nearly double that of the roughly $5,000 Spokane raised.
"I was thrilled, and surprised and - what other words can I use?" Mayor Sandi Bloem said. "Again, it just shows you the generosity of this community and the spirit."
Phone calls to a John Huckabay listed in the phone book went unanswered Monday evening, after the final results were announced.
The check, according to Salvation Army Development Director Christy Markham, was actually made out for 'disaster relief.' But Huckabay had made it a point to introduce himself to Bloem when he was dropping it in the kettle Saturday, the sum then unknown to the mayor.
"He said he was dropping something by in the kettle and he wanted to introduce himself," Bloem said, adding that he told her he appreciated that Bloem had attended a recent Veterans Stand Down ceremony.
When the Salvation Army saw the check and contacted Huckabay to ask where he really wanted to donate the money, Huckabay told them he wanted the donation to go toward the contest, Markham said.
That snatched the win away from Spokane, which had been leading in the cash drive Monday before the check was counted. And made the Lake City two for two against its western neighbor.