Toy program gearing up for holiday season

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 6, 2002

One major problem has been solved for the Toys for Tots Program – a building to house toys until the date of distribution. Bill Ashley, coordinator of the Toys for Tots Program, went public with the need of a storage place for toys about a week ago.

Billy Chorey of Chorey & Associates Realty, LTD came to the organization’s aid with that building.

&uot;It is my pleasure to do this because I want to help the program and those involved in any way that I can,&uot; Chorey said.

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&uot;We really appreciate Mr. Chorey’s generosity, which is a building donated once again that is no cost to the program,&uot; Ashley said.

Chorey also wants to make a financial donation to the Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund. When he does he will be challenging other companies and organizations to follow suit. Donations from local businesses and citizens from the community to the Cheer Fund is used to pay for toys that have already been ordered.

Another concern for Ashley

is to raise enough money to pay for the aforementioned toys totaling $37,151. This total is based on the 1,653 underprivileged children that the program serves. Ashley and others try to give each child at least two new toys and a gently used one.

Frank Rawls, a local attorney, is once again the chairman of the Suffolk Cheer Fund. Andy Prutsok, publisher and editor of the News-Herald, and Rawls, are responsible for setting the Cheer Fund goal. Prutsok and his staff at the News-Herald are also in charge of publicity for the fund and program.

&uot;It will also up to Mr. Prutsok and Mr. Rawls when the Cheer Fund will begin,&uot; said Ashley.

&uot;Now that everything seems to be running smoothly, I can sit back and take it easy for a while until the time comes to get the ball rolling in December,&uot; Ashley said.

The following met with him Thursday morning at the Social Services building and reviewed plans for the Christmas season 2002:

Capt. David and Deloris May from the Salvation Army; Robert Johnson with churches; Joyce Elliott and Linda Bullock from Suffolk Social Services; John Willoughby and Jim Chelles from the Portsmouth-Chesapeake-Suffolk-Financial Association of Insurance Financial Advisors; Maxann Morrison with Share A Toy Parties; and Renee Spratley from the Suffolk Parks and Recreation.

According to Ashley, the chairmen of various committees are in place and ready to begin their tasks to provide toys for all underprivileged children in Suffolk from birth through age 12.

&uot;Earlier this year Captain David May, Marion Sherrod and Joyce Elliott from Social Services and I picked out and ordered toys,&uot; said Ashley.

Chairpersons and their committees who will make hundreds of children happy at Christmas are as follows:

John Ward, industries; Robert Johnson, local churches; Lisa Thomas, public schools; John Woleben, private schools; and Hunter March will assist with day school parties. These people are all members of the Portsmouth Chesapeake-Suffolk Association of Insurance Financial advisors.

Morrison will again be in charge of Share A Toys Parties through day schools in Suffolk, and Gary Willoughby will be on hand to serve as Santa to receive toys.

Annett Ferrell and John Silvers of the Suffolk Parks and Recreation Dept. and their helpers will move toys to and from the storage building furnished by Charles Pond at Nansemond Cold Storage and will also help in many other ways.

Thursday, Dec. 5, toys will be moved from the warehouse to the distribution center at 800 W. Washington.

Monday, Dec. 9, toys will be picked up from schools, churches and businesses.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 10 and 11, toys will be sorted.

Thursday and Friday, Dec. 12 and 13, toys will be distributed by the Salvation Army.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, the Suffolk Parks and Recreation Dept. will sponsor a lunch with Santa and the building will be turned over to the Salvation Army.

During the week of Monday, Dec. 16, toys will be distributed by the Salvation Army.