When asked about the challenges associated with the Holiday Drive, fire company spokesman Wayne van Dommelen said, "It's important to us because it helps local children right here in our town. We're a small, tightly knit community, and the amount of support from our residents and local businesses is always amazing. However, this year is shaping up to be particularly difficult. A staggering number of our neighbors need help … we're expecting about 175 kids. That's tripled from previous years, and is a direct credit to Tree of Friends involvement. Our goal by teaming up was to combine our resources and connections to meet these challenges, but we are really gonna need some help. We are doing what we can, but it's up to donations now. Frankly I am hopeful and optimistic, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried — it's a tall order."