Tradition of donating

Each year, hundreds of residents send in donations to the Good Cheer Fund. The amounts range from $20 to more than $1,000 and come from businesses, civic groups, churches, families and occasional anonymous donors. They are given in memory of loved ones, to honor family members, to carry on a tradition or simply to help residents in need.

Today, we share with you some of the stories of why you give.

Every holiday season when Doug Fraker gets his donation ready for the Good Cheer Fund, he’s carrying on a family tradition that spans more than 50 years.

His family has a history with the Good Cheer Fund dating back to the late 1950s. His father, Maurice “Moe” Fraker, was friends with Eddy Teets, the longtime director of the fund.

Doug Fraker was in high school when he started volunteering for the Good Cheer Fund with his father. They brought in donated canned goods, helped prepare baskets and delivered them to needy families.

Once his father was no longer able to deliver, Maurice Fraker instead made a donation of $50 to the fund each year.

“Even when he moved to Florida for 20 years and lived down there, he’d send in his donation every year to the Good Cheer Fund,” Doug Fraker said.

Maurice Fraker died in 1998, and the tradition was carried on by his wife, Eunice Fraker. After she died in 2009, Doug Fraker took it upon himself to make the donation.

Now, each year, he contributes $100 — $50 for each parent — to the fund.

“And I don’t know who will donate for me after I’m dead,” Fraker said.

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Ryan Trares is a senior reporter and columnist at the Daily Journal. He has long reported on the opioids epidemic in Johnson County, health care, nonprofits, social services and veteran affairs. When he is not writing about arts, entertainment and lifestyle, he can be found running, exploring Indiana’s craft breweries and enjoying live music. He can be reached at [email protected] or 317-736-2727. Follow him on Twitter: @rtrares