For the past 72 years, a local project has helped ensure people in need have a way to buy food at Christmastime. The generosity of Jackson County residents has resulted in more than $10,000 being raised each of the past couple of years for the Christmas Basket Fund. That allows for $50 Jay C Food Stores gift cards to be distributed to less-fortunate people in the area whose applications are approved. “We really help a lot of people locally in need,” said Carl VonDielingen, chairman of the Christmas Basket Fund. “There are a lot of families that can really use the food for Christmas.” This marks his eighth year of being chairman, and he is just as excited about it today as he was at the beginning. “It’s just something I can do to give back to the community,” he said. “Since I’ve been retired, I can take time out. It’s quite a chore, actually.” The fund was started in 1945 by veterans returning home to Seymour and Jackson County from World War II to provide food for area families at Christmas. Originally, the fund served those in need in Seymour, but it later was expanded to include all of Jackson County. The 73rd year of the project is sponsored by American Legion Post 89 in Sey...