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Women’s Service League of Orange making plans for holidays, fundraiser

By Myoshi Price

The Orange Leader

The Women’s Service League of Orange is gearing up for their 60th annual Toy Coffee hosted this year at the home of Chris and Mika Riddell on December 1. The theme is take it back to 1956 where the food and servers will travel back in time to the first year of Toy Coffee. The Toy Coffee is when someone in the community opens up their home for a tour, but in order to tour the home you will have to bring a toy gift or cash donation. All of the toys and funds raised will go to The Salvation Army. Last year 701 toys were collected, 524 people attended, and over $4,000 was raised for The Salvation Army to buy more toys for children.

The Women’s Service League began in 1954 with the first Toy Coffee was held in 1956. Soon to follow was the gift shop located in Baptist Beaumont Hospital in Orange in 1957. Aside from monetary donations, the service league does an Elder Fund where they visit four local nursing homes once a month within the community and play bingo with them. They also host a fine arts project in conjunction with The Stark Museum of Art for first and second graders throughout Orange County. The service league also volunteers with the Orange Christian Services to do data entry and the hospital gift shop proceeds are put back into the community. The service league also gave $4,500 in scholarships to five recipients last year.

The only fundraiser for the Women’s Service League of Orange is the Follies Gala held once every three years. The money from that event is divided up for the following three years and given as grants within the community. Some of those grants have been given to the Orange Community Players Children’s Play, the Orange County Live Stock, Rainbow Room, and Samaritans Council are just a few from the long list.

The Follies will begin with a kickoff party at The Pavilion March 4, 2017. The Auction and Dinner Gala will be at the Expo Center March 25, 2017 with tickets $75 per couple or $40 per person. The Follies will be April 29 at Lutcher Theater with performance tickets for $25. The theme will be a Hee Haw Salute with many comedy skits and award winning country and western music artists. Kimberly Murry, Tony Booth, and Bob Manning are just some of the performers in the show.

Auditions will be March 11, 2017 at First United Methodist Church open to the entire community. Follies Director Codie Vasquez states “Everyone is encouraged to come out and audition. There is usually a very large cast filled with citizens of the community and the goal is to raise a lot of money for the services to go right back into the community.”

To stay updated with the Toy Coffee and future Follies times visit www.theserviceleagueoforange.com or their Facebook page The Service League of Orange and take a look at gift shop items on Facebook at gifts etc.