Bennett Trust gives Cheer Fund a #036;1,000 boost

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Suffolk Cheer Fund is on its way to meeting this year’s $40,000 goal, thanks to a recent contribution from the Richard Bennett Trust.

The foundation – which has quietly, but effectively worked to improve life for this city’s residents for years – donated $1,000 to the 2004 Cheer Fund.

All money raised through the Suffolk New-Herald’s annual holiday fund-raising campaign is earmarked for the Toys for Tots program.

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Sponsored by the South Hampton Roads Association of Financial Advisors, the program will provide toys for more than 1,600 underprivileged children in Suffolk this holiday season.

&uot;We want to thank the Richard Bennett Trust for their generous donation, launching the Cheer Fund on another successful campaign,&uot; said Andy Prutsok, publisher of the Suffolk-News Herald. &uot; The community came so close to pushing us over our goal last year and I’m confident that it will come through again in 2004.

&uot;I know it sounds trite, but the need really is growing in Suffolk. More and more families are struggling to get by, families in which the parent or parents work but still can’t keep up. The Cheer Fund and Toys for Tots are saving graces for people like that.

&uot;It takes an entire community to make this work – hundreds of Cheer Fund donors and the dozens of Toys for Tots volunteers. No contribution is too small. We need every dollar,&uot; Prutsok said. &uot;Best of all, there are no administration costs for the Cheer Fund so 100 percent of your contribution will go to buy toys for needy children right here in Suffolk.&uot;

Over the next few weeks, Toys for Tots volunteers will be visiting businesses, public and private schools, daycare centers and churches to pickup donated toys, said John M. Woleban, the new chairman of the Suffolk Toys for Tots campaign.

He is replacing former coordinator William Ashley, who oversaw the program for nearly 40 years.

The program has already received some contributions of unopened toys from groups or individuals, Woleban said.

For example, Patrice Jones and her husband, J.P. Jones, sponsored the Paul J. Lux Memorial Bike Ride to benefit Toys Tots in honor of her late father last weekend. The registration fee was a new toy.

The Buckhorn resident, who died two years ago, was &uot;just a big kid&uot; so the benefit ride seemed an appropriate way to remember him, J.P. Jones said.

Approximately 15 people turned out for the ride, bringing all sorts of

toys – a basketball, talking donkey, stuffed animals, dolls, animals – for Suffolk’s needy children, he said.