FERGUS – The Fergus Lions Reliable Ford Toy Drive may have looked different this year, but it was nonetheless a resounding success.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, officials did not collect toys and focused solely on gift card and cash donations during the campaign, which ran from Nov. 16 to Dec. 2.
“From start to finish two weeks later, we realized that the people who live in Centre Wellington are the real angels, along with local corporate sponsors,” stated toy drive chairman Gary Waterhouse in a Dec. 7 announcement.
“We raised an amazing $8,000 in cash and gift cards.”
Waterhouse said organizers wish to thank Reliable Ford staff and Fergus Lions members “who made this story a success,” as well as local media outlets.
The club helped launch the campaign with a $2,000 donation.
“The real heroes are the people in our community who, year after year, support our charitable events,” Waterhouse said.
“The other benefit realized was the small businesses in the area received timely help from the results of this toy drive, as people supported our local retailers.”
Centre Wellington Food Bank director Jackie Andrews said gift cards from the drive will help “fulfil the wishes” of families in the food bank’s Angel Program that are not matched with a sponsor.
“Through the leadership of the Fergus Lions Club and the support of our community, the children in our community will once again experience the magic of the Christmas season because you care,” Andrews stated.
“And for that, we are incredibly grateful.”