Cheer Fund goal within reach

Published 9:14 pm Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Cheer Fund continues to close in on its $35,000 goal, having raised about $31,355 this season.

“We’ve almost done it again, by God’s grace,” said Frank Rawls, a local attorney who is on the Cheer Fund board and does the legal work for the fund pro bono.

With a $500 donation Rawls received late Friday from the Lions Club that was not included in this week’s deposit, the amount raised so far is closer to $32,000.

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The fund is about $1,000 behind its total at this time last year.

“Please help us reach our goal,” Rawls said, noting there’s only about $3,000 to go.

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. Every other dollar supports Suffolk 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.