Fergus Lions launch 21st annual toy drive with $2,500 donation to food bank

FERGUS – The 21st annual Fergus Lions Reliable Ford Toy Drive kicked off on Nov. 13 at Reliable Motors, this year with a larger cheque donation to the Centre Wellington Food Bank (CWFB).

Over the last two decades, the toy drive has raised money and collected donations of toys and gift certificates for the CWFB’s Christmas Hamper Program to ensure no family goes without presents on Christmas.

The launch opened with CWFB director Jackie Andrews accepting a cheque for $2,500 from the Fergus Lions Club, the largest donation to date.

“Just about every year it’s got bigger and bigger. … Cash donations have increased too. We’ve increased ours this year another $500,” said Lion and drive coordinator Gary Waterhouse.

“It’s probably one of the best projects we do all year.”

Jackie Andrews thanked the Fergus Lions Club for 21 years of support.

“This is important for Christmas; it takes so much stress off our local parents,” Andrews said.

The drive will run until Dec. 11, when the Lions will deliver the toys to the Fergus sportsplex. Food bank volunteers will be on hand to sort gifts to go along with food hampers that will be delivered in time for Christmas.

“These are the gifts that keep on giving,” Andrews said.

Any leftover gifts from the hamper program are kept at the food bank for children to use to attend birthdays.

Waterhouse thanked Reliable Motors for its annual support of the fundraiser, as well as the Fergus branches of  A.O. Smith and Shopper’s Drug  Mart, which are contributing to the Fergus Lions’ drive.

Cash, gift cards or new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at Reliable Motors in Fergus (until Dec. 11) or at the Fergus Santa Claus Parade on Dec. 7.