Residents demonstrating their generosity daily

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Each and every year the Cheer Fund campaign is faced with the monumental assignment of amassing thousands of dollars to pay for dolls, teddy bears, and toys for Suffolk’s underprivileged children. That enormous task, with a $40,000 goal this Christmas, is one that brings for the best in the people of this city.

Take people like the employees of Blair Brothers, for instance. William Blair, president of Blair Brothers, said he is extremely proud of the way in which they tackle the problem of providing toys for the children.

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&uot;We set up a little donation box for the News-Herald’s &uot;Cheer Fund&uot; and they all pitched in to help pay for the Toys for Tots,&uot; said Blair. &uot;I would see them at times, and many put money into the box more than once. Our goal was to exceed the 2002 donation by 10 percent and they surely did it, giving $1,210 for the children’s gifts.&uot;

Blair added that he and many of his employees are from large families where children were the most precious part of a family.

&uot;Now, it’s our turn to help a new generation of children,&uot; said Blair. &uot;After all, they will be the care givers of tomorrow.&uot;

The excitement at Blair Brothers begins building the moment the men, most of which are long-term employees, see the Cheer Fund donation box and a notice on the bulletin board put into place.

&uot;They all begin speculating on which two of them will be selected to deliver the Cheer Fund contribution,&uot; said Blair. &uot;Once the messengers are chosen, there is a lot of congratulations and back slapping going on. I hear them joking and asking if they are wanted anywhere. It’s just a lot of good cheer and it all helps with the Toys for Tots fund drive.&uot;

Blair added that he saw at least one customer drop a donation into the Cheer Fund box. He said there are so many people in Suffolk who share the compassion for the youth of Suffolk.

Many individuals give donations in memory of a loved one. Attorney Jesse Johnson and his wife, City Councilwoman Linda, gave this year in memory of the late Jarrett Moore, who died recently.

Thanks to the Johnsons, 20 children will be sporting around Christmas morning on brand new bicycles.

&uot;Linda and I began last year with what we hoped to make a tradition of giving during the holidays,&uot; said Jesse Johnson. &uot;We held a Thanksgiving feast at the Planters Club and invited people in need. We didn’t get to do that this year because I had been committed to serve as Peanut Fest chairman and Linda was caught up with council responsibilities, so we decided that purchasing the bikes was a way in which we could give back to the community. Giving…that’s part of the recipe for a good life.&uot;

Johnson, a local attorney well-known to the legal community of Suffolk, also threw out a challenge to others practicing law in the city.

To make a contribution to the Cheer Fund, send checks to the News-Herald, P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, 23437, or you may bring them to the office at 130 S. Saratoga St.

Anyone giving $100 or more will have their photograph taken with a News-Herald staff member, and that photo will be published for the contributor. Call Barbara Lee Allen at 934-9617, or Evelyn Wall at 934-9615 to set an appointment to be photographed with your donation to Cheer Fund.