Cheer Fund halfway to goal

Published 8:14 pm Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Cheer Fund board member says it’s both good news and bad news that the fund is about halfway toward its $35,000 goal.

“The good news is we’re halfway there,” said Frank Rawls, a local attorney who does pro bono work on behalf of the Cheer Fund. “The bad news is we’re only halfway there. We need to fill it up.”

This year’s goal is $35,000, and the total raised so far is $18,155.45.

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The Cheer Fund was started by the Suffolk News-Herald sometime last century — during the Great Depression, it is believed — and initially provided money for clothing and food for needy Suffolk residents.

Over time, its mission changed to provide money to purchase toys for children who might otherwise find nothing under the tree on Christmas morning.

Money raised through the effort goes directly to the Toys for Tots organization, which purchases and distributes toys to families of boys and girls in Suffolk.

The Cheer Fund is an all-volunteer organization. Necessary professional services are provided pro bono, and the newspaper staff does the publicity, bookkeeping and other functions. The only expense the Cheer Fund has is about $50 in required fees to the State Corporation Commission each year.

“I am so grateful for everybody that’s given so far,” Rawls said, noting the fund is about $800 behind where it was at this point last year. “Lord willing, the people who have been considering giving will follow through on that gift, and we will reach our goal of $35,000.”

Every dollar donated to the Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund supports Toys for Tots.

To donate to the Cheer Fund, send a check to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439 or bring it to our office, 130 S. Saratoga St., from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

We will list your donation in the newspaper, but it can be marked “anonymous” if you like. Donations may be made in honor of or in memory of someone. If you bring the check to our office, we’ll even take your picture as you hand it to one of our staff.

For more information on the Cheer Fund, call 934-9616.