Cheer Fund begins with #036;1,000 donation

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 13, 2005

To say that Harry Lee Weaver loved Suffolk would be an understatement.

He was born in Nansemond County in 1923 and lived in the same home for 81 years until less than a month before his death on June 7.

In addition, much of his life was dedicated to serving the community he called home for so long. He compiled an impressive resume of service:

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He was a 60-year member and past Master of the McAllister Masonic Lodge No. 185 and past District Deputy of District No. 33; he was an active member of the Holy Neck-South Quay Ruritan Club for 63 years; he was a former member of the Board of Directors of Colonial Farm Credit and Community Electric Cooperative; he was a member of the Gideons International; and until his health declined, he had donated 112 pints of blood to the American Red Cross.

In addition, he served as a judge at the election polls for more than 50 years and became the chief judge in the Holy Neck precinct in 1980. When he retired from that position in 1995, he held the record for having served at Suffolk’s polls longer than anyone else.

He was a dedicated member of Holy Neck United Church of Christ, where he taught the Men’s Bible Class for 40 years. He was a member of the church’s Board of Trustees, as well as many other committees.

At the time of his death, Weaver had been a real estate agent with Chorey & Associates Realty for nearly a quarter century, this after a successful career as a loan officer for Colonial Farm Credit.

When he died, Weaver left a void with his co-workers.

“Harry Lee was just a great guy,” said broker and friend Billy Chorey, “a great real estate person.

I can’t say enough good things about him.”

Chorey couldn’t think of a better way to honor his friend than making a $1,000 donation in his memory to kick off the 2005 News-Herald Cheer Fund Campaign.

Chorey said he talked it over with others at his Constance Road office and they all agreed it was a great way to memorialize their friend and co-worker.

“I’ve always seen the Cheer Fund as being the local fund,” Chorey said. “This is kind of our thing in Suffolk. I think Harry Lee would have been proud.”

Chorey said he was proud to kick off this year’s campaign and hoped his company’s donation will serve as an inspiration to others to give to the Cheer Fund in memory of loved ones.

While early records are not available, the News-Herald’s Cheer Fund dates back at least to the late 1930s and is among the oldest, on-going charitable operations in the region. Since the early 1960s, the Cheer Fund’s sole purpose has been to fund the Suffolk Toys for Tots program. Last year, the Cheer Fund’s more than $40,000 campaign enabled Toys for Tots to provide quality toys to more than 2,000 children up to age 14 in Suffolk. This year, the goal is $45,000.

“As Suffolk grows, so does the need,” said Cheer Fund Board Chairman Frank Rawls. “We want Suffolk kids to have the best Christmas possible and we’re confident they will once again come through for the community.”

You can donate to the Cheer Fund by mailing a check to: Cheer Fund, c/o Suffolk News-Herald, P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, Va. 23439.

Clubs or organizations that would like to make a donation and have a photo shot and published in the paper should call Douglas Grant, the News-Herald’s managing editor, at 934-9603 to make an appointment.