Cheer Fund kicks off

Published 9:59 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund is gearing up its efforts to raise money to help local children experience some Christmas cheer.

The Cheer Fund annually raises money to be given to Suffolk Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army so that every child in Suffolk can find a toy under the tree on Christmas morning.

“The Cheer Fund’s sole purpose is to raise money to enable the Toys for Tots and Suffolk Salvation Army to purchase good quality toys for kids from needy families at Christmas,” said Frank Rawls, a local attorney who sits on the board of the Cheer Fund.

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Aside from a small fee to the State Corporation Commission, the Cheer Fund has no overhead whatsoever. Newspaper employees publicize the Cheer Fund and collect donations, and Rawls volunteers to take care of legal paperwork.

“There’s essentially no administrative cost at all,” Rawls said. “In terms of money going to the intended purpose, I don’t know of any that is better.”

Last year’s effort raised more than $34,000 that put toys under the tree for 4,655 local children.

“It was a substantial number, again,” Rawls said. “The children have no choice into which family they’re born. Suffolk News-Herald’s Cheer Fund is, I think, an extraordinary charity for the kids.”

This year’s Cheer Fund goal is $40,000, reflecting the fact that Salvation Army officials expect requests for toy donations to be higher than they’ve been in previous years.

Donations to the Cheer Fund are printed in the Suffolk News-Herald and can be made in honor of or in memory of a loved one or friend. The donor can be listed anonymously if he chooses. The donor can also have his photograph taken giving the check to be published in the newspaper.

Donations for the Cheer Fund are accepted year-round. To give, write a check payable to the Cheer Fund and mail it to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439, or stop by our office at 130 S. Saratoga St. Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.