LEE — The Edward Laliberte Toy Fund is off to a grand — actually, almost a two-grand — start toward reaching the fundraiser’s $8,000 goal.
Organizers have announced their first list of donations, of $1,875, for the 2021 campaign that traditionally kicks off Thanksgiving weekend.
The head start this year is due, in part, to early outreach to all previous contributors, according to Donna Toomey, one of the charity’s stewards.
“We sent out letters to all our donors thanking them for their support and advising them of the latest news regarding the toy fund,” she said.
The toy fund benefits dozens of children 17 and younger from families in Lee, Lenox Dale and Tyringham.
The holiday charity was founded in 1958 by Lee Police Officer Edward J. Laliberte, and was named for him after his death in the 1980s.
Because of COVID-19 and the potential lack of supply of certain toys, gift cards will be distributed to the children of families in need.
Last year was a record-breaker, as $14,187 was raised — more than double the goal of $7,000, and about $1,000 more than the $13,377 combined raised in 2018 and 2019.
Toomey says 83 children from about 40 households benefited from the toy fund last year, and she expects that figure to be higher once all applications are received from participating families.
“I get calls every day for applications, as there is a lot of need out there,” Toomey said. “Our requests are increasing, and I expect the need to be greater this year.”
Mario & Laurel Caluori $40
Barbara Danalis $25
Adam Charron and Jill Treanor $200
Mary & Christopher Horton $20
Karen Richards $100
In memory of
Digger Buffis from wife Alice $25
In loving memory of Joe Boldyga, from your great-grandchildren Robert, Nicholas, Gianna $30
David Scarpa, Michael Andrews, Richard & Barbara Tart, Bob & Betty Scarpa, from Sue Scarpa $75
Bob Nason, from Lisa Sloane $50
Paul Chernov from Dolly Chernov $50
Thomas Bush, from Jeanette and Marcia $50
My husband Marshall and my daughter Kelly $100
Butch Bragdon, from Teresa, Tricia & Rodney Bragdon $100
John “Truck” Cannon, from Teresa, Tricia & Rodney Bragdon $100
Don & Marge Fillio and William & Edith Spaniol, from Dawn & Don Fillio $50
In loving memory of Richard (Rocky) Brighenti, from Sandra $25
In loving memory of Ethel Noonan & Stephen Cozzaglio, from Sandra Cozzaglio $25
In loving memory of the Senter & Baker Families from Andrea Senter Baker $50
Delores I. Eckert $60
Richard Dupras $50
Scott Rockefeller $50
Mom, Dad, Lucy, Bart, friends & family, from Virginia Bartini $25
My Beloved Briggy, from Susan Brighenti $100
The Bartini & Seward Families, love Mary & Steve $25
Our parents, Mr. & Mrs. Leon Serra and Mr. & Mrs. Richard Fennelly, from Everett & Mary Fennelly $50
Josh Nadeau $250
Mike, from Shelley Stedman $100
Loved ones, from Virginia Delugan $50
Today’s total: $1,875
Total to date: $1,875
To reach goal: $6,125