Cheer Fund kicks off

Published 7:20 pm Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund is once again 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.

“It is wonderful that we have the community support to provide a toy for every child,” said John Woleben, Suffolk Toys for Tots coordinator.

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The Cheer Fund began during the Great Depression, when it raised money for clothes and food for needy families. Eventually, it morphed into buying new toys for children.

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 volunteers take care of legal paperwork and serve on the board.

“One hundred percent of those funds impact local kids,” said Margie Wiley, “top elf” for the Cheer Fund. “This is a chance to impact our community right here in Suffolk. The money stays here locally.”

Last year’s effort raised more than $32,000 that put toys under the tree for thousands of local children.

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.

“The need is always there,” Woleben said. “We’re going to have another good year for the kids.”

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. 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.