Community Members Honored For Helping Children Around Holidays

By: Zachary Meseck

Community members honored for helping children around holidays (Photo by Zachary Meseck)

NORWICH – Several people received awards from Toys for Tots for their dedication towards helping kids around the holidays, and program representatives said this year’s event will look different due to the coronavirus.

The event is scheduled to take place from noon to 3 p.m. on December 12, with a movie from the Colonia Theatre to begin around 3:30 p.m. Additional locations and details to be disclosed closer to the event’s date, and parents are required to bring verification such as a birth certificate to the event.

According to Local Coordinating Officer and New Berlin Mayor Terry Potter, this year’s awards were distributed based on overall contribution towards last year’s Toys For Tots fundraiser.

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“I wanted to make sure we honored their commitment to the community, and showed our appreciation for what they do and continue to do,” said Potter. “We honored the Colonia Theatre, Nina’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, and Vlon Yerton for everything they did last year to help children in their community.”

“We’re looking forward to this year’s event, and many years to come.”

Potter said the Marine Toys for Tots Program is thankful for the many generous corporate sponsors and donors which contribute and help raise money, donate toys and increase program awareness. He said their support has helped thousands of less fortunate children in Chenango County share in the magic of the holidays.

“We also want to make sure that we recognize Mary Ellen Camuel for all that she does which includes the administrative and financial work with the Toys for Tots national headquarters,” he added. “We’re hoping that businesses will recognize the needs this year as with covid some businesses have not taken collection boxes, and we’re asking that they consider doing the paper train fundraisers or monetary donations are also welcome.”

Norwich Toys for Tots Event Coordinator Vlon Yerton said its his goal to get the community more involved and make the event bigger while keeping everyone safe during the pandemic.

“For children to be happy on Christmas, for me, is very important,” said Yerton. “Nina’s donates all of the food, and we all dress up as characters from the movie, it’s awesome.”

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