Radio stations look for families deserving “The Best Christmas Ever”

A non-profit and radio station group are taking nominations for families with children who need a brighter holiday
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 6:11 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Do you know a family in need? This is your opportunity to help.

A local radio station group is accepting nominations for its annual Christmas giving campaign to make the holidays brighter for families who’ve fallen on tough times and give them “The Best Christmas Ever.”

Two years ago, Lea and Mike Walschinski and their children were experiencing a difficult time in their lives. Mike, the sole provider for the family, lost his job, then he got sick.

“It was hard, and soon as he was home from the hospital -- Mike had cancer -- COVID hit, and it wasn’t like I could just go find a job because everyone was going home or losing their jobs,” Lea said.

Five days before Christmas, they heard a surprise knock on their door.

“I was baking cookies. We look out and we put our coats on and go outside, and we look and they were piling gifts. So many big gifts. Big, huge piles of gifts. It was overwhelming,” Lea said.

Someone nominated the Walschinskis for The Best Christmas Ever, a partnership between the non-profit organization and Midwest Communications radio stations in Northeast Wisconsin.

“The qualifications of what we’re looking for in a family is a family that has fallen on hard times this year through no fault of their own and there have to be children in the house. A big part of Christmas is providing for the children,” Mike Demerath, an attorney for Hager, Dewick, Zuengler, S.C., said.

Nominations are due on November 1.

After nominations are submitted, 10 team captains in the Fox Valley select the recipients.

Each family will receive dozens of gifts, ranging from toys to life-changing necessities.

“On our Midwest Communications websites, we put the wish list when we select the families of exactly what’s needed, and that helps. Obviously, money is always welcome because we get gift cards to the families or try to send them on dream trips. We come down to the exact details of what these families need. One year, a little girl just needed a new bed. It’s things like that you and I just take for granted,” Charli McKenzie, morning host and music director for Y100 said.

Lea and Mike Walschinski will always remember. “By the end of the year we were exhausted and just trying to make it through, so to have such an incredible gift of literally The Best Christmas Ever just still warms my heart and will be a lifelong thing we’ll carry with us.”

"The Best Christmas Ever" campaign wants to make the holidays brighter for families who've fallen on tough times.