Cheer Fund just short of goal

Published 6:51 pm Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund came within $2,900 of meeting its goal this season, but it’s not too late to help make sure local children have some Christmas cheer next year.

The Cheer Fund accepts donations all year long. Each year’s donations are used for the next year’s toy purchases, as the orders are placed long before the holiday season.

“It’s not too late to help us meet our goal,” said Frank Rawls, an attorney who does pro bono work for the fund and is on its board. “Thanks to everyone who gave. Donations will enable us to purchase additional toys. If we don’t receive them, obviously, we don’t have the money to buy as many toys or as high a quality of toys.”

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This year’s Cheer Fund collected $32,105.45, with a goal of $35,000.

“I think we did well with the economy still very sorry in some ways,” Rawls said. “I just hope we can reach the $35,000.”

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.

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.