Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
A special event will be held the first Saturday in December to assist needy children living in southern Newton County.
The first ever Jingle Bell Walk and Fill the Sleigh event will be held starting at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, to raise money for the Deweyville Community Toy Drive. The event will help the less fortunate children in the Deweyville Independent School District this Christmas.
The walk will begin at Willy T’s Cafe, located just of State Highway 12 in Deweyville, and participants will walk the loop around Spur 272. The entry fee is $5 per person. All participants are asked to dress in the spirit of Christmas, whether it is wearing festive colors of the season, elf hats, bells and the like.
Regina Trussell has been in charge of the annual Toy Drive in Deweyville for the past four years. She said the reason the new Jingle Bell Walk was created to generate more interest.
“We just wanted to figure out something else to do which would help us with the annual Toy Drive,” Trussell said. “We only have about 20 to 25 donors every year with the toy drive, and for the last two years we have not had any donations to roll over to the following year.”
Trussell hopes the Jingle Bell Walk and Fill the Sleigh event will be accepted by the community and have participation by not only individuals, but by families as well.
“We wanted to do something that would get the youth and the community more involved in this program” she added. “We are hoping to have groups from Deweyville High School, like the band, participate. We already have the high school cheerleaders. The more youth we can get involved, then the better off we will be.”
An added bonus will include a special guest as Santa Claus himself is reported to be participating in the event and leading the walk from the back of a fire truck.
The 11th Annual Toy Drive will be from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Deweyville Community Center off Spur 272 near the library. New, unwrapped toy donations and monetary contributions will be accepted during this time.
The toys and gifts will be distributed at a later date. Donations will be accepted for children ages newborn to 17-years-old.
“A lot of programs have scaled back accepting donations for children past the ages of 12 or 13, but these older kids have Christmas lists too,” Trussell explained. “They are dependent on their parents just like younger children. If a parent cannot afford to buy a present for a small child, then they can’t afford to buy one for the older children either. Providing for one child and not the other just makes no sense to me.”