Cheer Fund shatters goal

Published 11:40 pm Friday, January 25, 2019

The Suffolk Cheer Fund recently concluded its 2018-19 fundraising season nearly $3,000 past the goal.

“We exceeded our goal through the generosity of the Suffolk community,” said Cheer Fund board member and head elf Margie Wiley.

This year, the fund raised $42,981, shattering its original goal of $40,000.

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“We were really surprised at the number of new donors we got this year,” Wiley said. “People were just engaged and excited and became a part of the Cheer Fund for the first time.”

New donors included the Lakeland High School basketball Winter Madness event, which raised money for the Cheer Fund, as well as Suffolk City Treasurer Ron Williams’ United Way Golf Tournament, which donated for the first time.

Many regular donors also decided they could do a little bit more, Wiley noted.

The Cheer Fund was started by the Suffolk News-Herald during the Great Depression. Over the years, it started raising money for toys and eventually partnered with the Salvation Army Suffolk Corps to do the toy distribution.

The Salvation Army assisted 2,573 children with toys for Christmas this year. Parents and guardians were able to choose four toys per child — up from three last year.

The Cheer Fund board also made a special appropriation of $10,000 to help buy toys for older children, and that money was spent at the Walmart store on North Main Street.

Wiley said the Cheer Fund board is also grateful to local people who shared their Christmas memories for a series of Sunday stories in the newspaper during November and December to bring attention to the Cheer Fund.

“Thank you,” she said. “We hope next year, we continue to exceed our goal.”