Events help community

Published 8:37 pm Monday, November 22, 2010

Practically anywhere you went in the city on Saturday, there were outstanding people and organizations working to ensure that Suffolk’s most needy people don’t do without this holiday season.

Two food giveaways in the downtown area provided Thanksgiving dinner for thousands of area families. At Lone Star Lakes Park, a local club held an event that collected money and toys for Toys for Tots.

Volunteers were at the Howard Mast tennis courts behind Farm Fresh bright and early Saturday morning for the Impact Suffolk food giveaway. Impact Suffolk is a cooperative of more than two dozen churches that purchased and donated thousands of cans and articles of food to hand out to anyone who showed up.

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“It’s just good to be able to bless the city in this way and bless those who are in need,” Dot Dalton, director of Impact Suffolk, told the News-Herald. “As long as there’s a need, we’ll be here.”

In addition to the food, attendees got free clothes from Liberty Baptist Church. Impact Suffolk has been doing its giveaway since 1997.

Across town, business owner LeOtis Williams also was blessing the community. A lawn care and investment business owner, Williams gathered $28,000 of profits from his businesses — in other words, money he could have pocketed or reinvested — to buy 2,000 turkeys and the vegetables to go with them. He then handed them out at his Pinner Street warehouse Saturday morning, while the Suffolk Booster Club grilled hot dogs for attendees as they waited in line.

Meanwhile, the Hampton Roads Radio Control Club hosted its fourth annual “fun fly” Saturday morning. Each participant donated $10 or a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots as their “landing fee.” Though there was no fee for spectators, some brought toys and money anyway to help Suffolk children have toys under the tree on Christmas morning.

The park’s skies featured plenty of unmanned aircraft on Saturday as participants flew their radio-controlled airplanes.

“Everyone always enjoys the fellowship and the planes, but the main thing we’re about on Saturday is raising money and toys for Toys for Tots to bring kids Christmas,” said Mills Staylor of the radio control club.

Throughout the next month or so, and all year long, there will be plenty of opportunities to help the less fortunate in our community. Many of them will be featured here in the News-Herald, so keep an eye out for them and then make an appearance at the event. It’s your chance to make a difference.