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City toy drive still taking donations

By Staff
Melissa Cason
After one successful toy drive last weekend, the Helping Santa program is gearing up for the last leg of their campaign to collect toys for children in need this Christmas.
Organizer Randy Seal spoke with the Russellville Civitan Club earlier this week in an effort to get the message out about the drive. In response to the presentation, the club voted to donate $200 to the cause.
"The response has been amazing," Councilmen Gary Cummings said. "We have had a lot of donations in toys and monetary commitments."
The fire and police department held their first event with the drive last weekend at Wal-Mart.
Fire Chief Joe Mansell said that several people dropped off toys and made monetary donations during the event.
Children of all ages were also given the opportunity to have their picture made with the fire truck, patrol vehicle, and Santa during the event.
"We took pictures free of charge, and those photos can be picked up at station one," Mansell said.
Police Chief Chris Hargett said his department has been getting a good response with the project as well. Now that it's so close to Christmas, preparations are being made for the toys to be delivered to the families.
"We have already gotten four pages of names and we expect more names to be added in the coming days," Hargett said.
Seal said the plan is to have the toys distributed on Dec. 20, but stresses that they will take any donation up until Christmas because they expect some families to wait until the last minute to ask for help.
Mansell reminds that photos with Santa can also be made at city hall today from 4 to 7 p.m. There is no charge for the photo, but everyone is encouraged to bring a toy for the toy drive.
Seal said the fire department will also be at Dependable's on Monday, Dec. 15, but the time has not decided at this time.
For information on this project, contact the fire department, police department or city hall.