LEE -- A rejuvenated Laliberte Toy Fund will likely surpass its $5,000 goal, bringing joy to dozens of less fortunate children this holiday season.
The current total is just shy of this year’s mark, but organizers expect to receive enough donations through Christmas week to have some left over to get a head start on the 2014 fundraising effort.
The three women coordinating the fund say 41 Lee-area children in 21 families are assured of having presents under their Christmas trees next week.
"We had so much fun shopping for the kids," said Lee Town Clerk Suzanne Scarpa.
Scarpa, Treasurer Donna Toomey and Selectman Patricia Carlino are overseeing the re-established fund. The fund went dormant in 2012 during a federal investigation of former Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis’ handling of the fund he managed the charity for 32 years.
While town officials, the women as private citizens revived the fund as a separate entity from the original one set up more than 50 years ago.
"We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from people who wanted to see it come back," Toomey said.
In recent years, the toy fund serving children in Lee, Lenox Dale and Tyringham annually raised more than $8,000, money spent on gifts for approximately 125 children in the Lee area. The new fund management hopes to return the fund to its previous success.
The fund was founded in 1958 by Edward J. Laliberte and was named for the former Lee police officer after his death in the 1980s.
To make a donation, send a check to Laliberte Toy Fund, Box 559, Lee, MA 01238, or drop off at any branch of Lee Bank.