Radio Control Club members encourage the community to make Cheer Fund donations

Published 5:47 pm Friday, November 25, 2022

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The Hampton Roads Radio Control Club has long supported local programs that ensure children in Suffolk have toys at Christmas.

Club member Mills Staylor said the group started contributing to the Cheer Fund about five years ago. That’s when the local man overseeing the Toys for Tots drive retired. The radio control club had worked with that program for about 15 years and wanted to continue to help children have a Merry Christmas.

He said club members opted for the Cheer Fund because of its long history in the Suffolk community.

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“The Cheer Fund for years and years has helped less fortunate children to experience a good and safe Christmas,” he said.

The radio control club’s fundraiser is the fly-in, which is open to both the public and other area clubs. People either pay $10 to fly their planes or donate a new toy.

Additionally, he said the club accepts donations, has a raffle for a radio controlled plane, has donation boxes for toys and raises money through its sale of hot dogs and hamburgers at the event.

Staylor said this year members raised $3,700 at a fall fly-in and added $300 from the club to contribute $4,000 for the Cheer Fund.


Additionally, the club filled two collection boxes with toys. The boxes are 3-feet wide by 4-feet tall. Staylor said in recent years people appear to be donating more money instead of toys, as they had in the past.

With all that is happening this year, he said there is no question of the local need where the Cheer Fund can help.

A combination of continued shutdowns due to COVID-19 and the increasing cost of items due to inflation have made the need great in Suffolk.

“It’s a prime year to get as many in our own city to make donations to the Cheer Fund,” Staylor said.

The Cheer Fund was started by the newspaper during the Great Depression to provide clothes and food for needy families. It eventually began providing toys for children and teamed up with the Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army.

These days, this program of the newspaper is its own nonprofit, with an independent board, and each year collects roughly $40,000 from individuals, groups and foundations in the community. This money goes directly to the purchase of toys by the Salvation Army.

To donate to the Cheer Fund, send a check to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439 or bring it to the newspaper office, 157 N. Main St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday 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.