The Not-Forgotten Box’s only Saturday collection day of the season helped to bring the total number of toys collected this year to more than 5,000.
The Elyria High School class of 1971. Front row, from left: Connie Sinclair, Karen Thomas, Camille McGowan, Joey Beth Hudnutt (holding Lincoln Cooper Hudnutt), Jeannie Williams and Alec Hagerty. Back row: Dan Derringer, Linda White, Pam Greer, Ken Tusing, Jeff Loesch, Kathie Craig, Pamela Curtis, Sandy Leppert, Becky Warriner and Chronicle Publisher Billy Hudnutt.
KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE Enlarge
This puts the annual toy drive over the half-way mark with a full week of collections still to go. With a goal of 8,000 toys, the annual charitable efforts that combine The Chronicle-Telegram and Elyria Salvation Army aim to help ensure more than 800 Elyria children have a happy holiday.
“We’ve been doing this a long time, at least 45 or 50 years,” said Megan Gwynn, the daughter of the late Frank Chapman.
“My husband received gifts from it when he was a child, so we have always given back,” added Sharon Chapman.
The army’s Maj. Bob Sears said a lot of needs are still being unaddressed this year that are probably items that donors and potential donors don’t realize Elyria families need.
“One of the things that comes to mind is jackets,” he said. “We have seen some jackets come in and that is great, but January and February is right around the corner and with that comes snow. So even if we get all of our kids taken care of with the Angel Tree and Not-Forgotten Box, we will still have families that come back to us and say they need coats.”
Other items of need include Lego building block sets, headphones and items for boys and girls ages 10 to 12.
Saturday’s largest donation came from the Elyria High School class of 1971 in honor of the late A. Cooper Hudnutt, the former publisher of The Chronicle and a huge supporter of the Not-Forgotten Box. Alums donate yearly in memory of their former classmate as well as all deceased members from the class.
“It was something that he treasured, so we wanted to carry it on for him,” said Connie Sinclair.
This year, the group’s donation totaled more than 464 toys and clothing items.