Ready, set, donate to holiday fund

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 6, 2006

The Cheer Fund officially kicks off today, and to be frank, we’re looking for donations.

The Cheer Fund was begun sometime in the 1930s by the Suffolk News-Herald to provide toys for needy children during the holidays. The Cheer Fund money goes to Toys for Tots to enable them to purchase toys in addition to those donated directly to them.

The fund made Christmas merrier for more than 2,900 children last year, said Frank Rawls, the director of the Cheer Fund board. Those toys were bought with about $46,000 donated from Suffolkians.

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“The businesses, clubs and residents in Suffolk are very generous,” said Rawls. “We had awesome response last year.”

However, Rawls said, “as Suffolk grows, the need grows.” The Cheer Fund needs more donations this year to bring cheer to more children than ever before.

The Cheer Fund donation campaign starts today, and runs through the holiday season. All donations are given to Toys for Tots, who along with a representative from Social Services actually goes out and buys the toys.

Donating to the Cheer Fund is a great way to honor an inspirational person, or remember a deceased family member. Even if you don’t make the donation in honor of someone, it will bring Christmas to the children just the same. You can even give the money anonymously. Couples, families, groups, churches and organizations can give collectively. If you can afford it, there’s no excuse not to give.

To donate to the Cheer Fund, mail checks to Cheer Fund, c/o Suffolk News-Herald, P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, Va., 23434, or bring contributions to the News-Herald office at 130 S. Saratoga St.