A philanthropic figurehead, Christmas Mother is a Richmond tradition in its 79th year. This Times-Dispatch fund drive program has its logistics managed by the Salvation Army. Last year's Christmas Mother raised more than $307,000 -- an incredible amount. This year, the monies raised will support as many as 35,000 children affected by poverty with gifts. The gifts are not just toys, but clothing and nutritious food they might not otherwise have. Markel is well-known as an engaged member of Richmond's community giving initiatives, and she's excited to wear the mantle -- or the 'party bopper' -- of the Christmas Mother.