Posted on Sat, Jan. 08, 2005


Mercury News

It seems that Carole DiFilippi's days as a Wish Book elf aren't over. She's just changed venues.

When DiFilippi moved from her home in the Meridian Avenue-Branham Lane area of San Jose, she handed over elf duties to Laura Meth, who now ably coordinates that neighborhood's donation drive to benefit the annual community fundraising project.

Now that DiFilippi has settled into her new home at the Vineyards in Saratoga, she's back at it. With the help of other members of the community's safety and security committee, she pulled together a social in the clubhouse that included trimming the tree, noshing on holiday goodies and a little auction of donated items.

The auction raised $475. Vineyard residents who participated earmarked their donations to help out Kathleen Davey and her family, whose story kicked off this year's Wish Book series on Nov. 21. She is the wife and mom from Campbell who has been in medical facilities for most of the past year, instead of at home, as she has struggled to recover from a brain injury.

``We have all followed the story of Mike Davey and his family since Kathleen had her cardiac arrest,'' wrote DiFilippi. ``It is important that we realize how fortunate we are, and the many things we take for granted.''

DiFilippi hopes to make the holiday social-Wish Book fundraiser an annual event at the Vineyards.

For 22 years, thousands of Mercury News readers have helped neighbors in their communities through the Wish Book. Donations of any size continue to be welcome and are tax-deductible.

If more money comes in than is needed for a specific wish, we'll use the extra funds to pay for other wishes in the series. Any money left over will provide camp and class scholarships to families who can't afford these experiences for their children.

Many readers dedicate their donations in honor or memory of loved ones. Others give anonymously. Following is a partial list of donors:

Linda Acosta, in honor of Peter Poss; Paula Aiello, in honor of Pietro Luoni; Tom and Betty Amis; Janice Anheier; Mary Artibee, in honor of Sarah Ann Bishop and Brian Badenoch; Dale and Leslie Bailey; Baker Elementary School, San Jose, third grade classes of Miss Amico, Miss Ibarra and Mrs. Lanka; Ted Balgooyen and Mary Jansing Balgooyen; Jeanette Beavers, in honor of the LeFevre family; Dennis and Bette Bedford; Jerry Bernstein; Mike and Rhonda Bertram; Susan Brain, in honor of Sam Brain; Phil Brandon; the Breber family; the Breitenbach family; Nancy and Christian Bremeau, in honor of Nicholas; Randolph Brine, in honor of Louise Pritchett;

Marcie and Wayne Caccamo; Luca and Mary Cafiero; Patricia Cardwell; Marilyn J. Clough; Robbin, Michael and Bryan Cohn; D. Cormier; Kathie and Ken Corsello; Wm. and Rita Crawford; Creative Wood Design; Gordon and Carolyn Davidson; Michele Dulleck; Susanne Duncan; Phyllis Ebersole; Alison Inafuku Edge, in honor of Raymond and Alicia Inafuku; Cheryl Enders;

Janet and Charles Fee; Elliot Finkle; Patricia L. Fischer; Ruth Frey; Mayella Gardea; Dawn Garrett, in honor of Michelle Garrett; Beth Garry, in honor of Michael Conlon; Evelyn Goldstein, in honor of her classes at Willow Glen High School; Ricardo Gonzalez; Patricia Hammett; Barbara Jean Hawley; Susan Herdman, in honor of grandson Skyler Herdman; Joel and Queta Herrera and family; Richard and Julie Hood; Swan-In Hsieh, in honor of James Hsieh; the Huguenor family, in honor of the staff of Valley Medical Center;

Shirley A. Israel; Art Jasso; the Jesuit Community at Santa Clara University; Parto Karimi; Diana Knutson; Martha Kokes; Robert and Ruth Krandel; Joanna Kulesa; Jennifer and Mike LaBarbera; the Laurelwood/Mulberry neighborhood, San Jose; Connie Lear; the Lakatos family; Steve and Monica Lipscomb, in honor of their dads Burney and Mario; Christine Lora; Beverly Lozoff; Lynhaven Elementary School Student Council, San Jose; Lynbrook High School student body, San Jose;

Carla A. Madden; John and Olga McKay, in honor of Brett Mocherman; Lori Mello; Ken and Linda Merbler; Lauren and Julie Mercer; MIG Realty Advisors Inc.; Mary V. Miller; Rosemarie and Barry Mirkin; Luis and Julia Montes, in honor of grandson Marcus Reyes; the Jim Morelan family; Doreen A. Morgan; Lisa Moulthrop, in memory of Frances Moulthrop; Sharon Nelson; Rose Ng, in honor of Maria and Jone Ng; Mrs. A. Nichols and her third graders; Steve and Pat Owens;

Chris Palmer and Ann Sjolander, in honor of Walter and Justine Palmer; Binh Pham; Mary Jane Pionk, in honor of Marie Pionk; Joy Rabins; Anya Rehon, in honor of aunt Jenny Roberts; Nicky Rehon, in honor of grandfather Pete Rehon; Mary Render; Casey Rhea; Rhoda, in memory of Callie, Rosie, Edsel and Bud; Lisa Roberts and Peter Rehon, in honor of Jenny Lynn Roberts; Maxine Rodgers; Lindsay Rosewater; Mike Rucker;

St. Francis High School Administration; Esther Sais, in honor of grandchildren Ashleigh, Austin, Andrew and Richelle; Ellen Schwartz; Jim Shea, in honor of the Shea kids; Linda Sherry, in honor of Max and Erna Eisenmann; Joan Sieling, in honor of Laci and Connor; Joseph Sinn; Irena Smith, in honor of Tsilya V.; Betty and Bud Stump; Cindy and Sergio Tacci; Susan Theise; Nancy Tromblee; Erin Tuttle; Sandra Underhill, in honor of Alice Underhill; Taylor Unger; Tammy and Steve Ursenbach; Scott and Roberta Uyeda, in honor of Edward Kasper; Gail Valenzuela; Johanna Vallecillo, in honor of the Vallecillo family; Phyllis Verna; Joy Wagner; Beth, Bill, Will and Camille Wilson, in honor of Mitchell Wilson; the Wizard Girls; Dave Zody and employees; the Zlotoff family, in honor of Anita Goldwasser.

 Special thanks to a close group of friends in San Jose who made donations to the Wish Book in lieu of personal gifts to each other: Jean and Louis Barbaccia, Cathy and Joseph De Maria, Virginia Fanelli and John Ralston and Sharon and Charles Longwello.

Questions or comments about the Wish Book? Call Holly Hayes at (408) 920-5374.