Moriah groups collaborate for Chistmas

PORT HENRY A coalition of groups has formed to make certain the holidays are happy for children in the town of Moriah. The Moriah Central School National Honor Society has joined with the Port Henry Fire Department Auxiliary to take over the annual Christmas Toy Drive that was formerly headed by Frank and Beth Slycord. Those groups will coordinate with the schools Adopt A Family holiday program that was has provided holiday gifts to needy families the past 14 years. The Christmas Toy Drive and the Adopt A Family program are separate. The Christmas Toy Drive collects toys for individual children. The Adopt A Family program provides gifts for entire families. Last year the Adopt A Family program, headed by Melissa Reilly and Meeghan Goralczyk at MCS, served 332 families in Moriah. We make certain everyone in a family gets something, Reilly said. Weve found in most gift programs people are quick to purchase a toy for a small child, but tenn-agers are often forgotten. In 2007 the Adopt A Family program had to turn away some requesting help. Reilly expects demand to be even greater in 2008. People who were in a position to help us last year are now hurting themselves, she said. The Adopt A Family program tries to provide winter clothing along with toys. Last year it also provided food to 28 families during the holidays. People wishing to give or receive help from the Adopt A Family program can call Reilly or Goralczyk at Moriah Central School. In past years area churches and groups have helped by providing gifts for entire families. Courtney Waldron, president, and Sue Nephew, adviser, said the Moriah National Honor Society is pleased to help the PHFD auxiliary with the Christmas Toy Drive. Hopefully this is the start of a good partnership, Nephew said. The annual toy drive was originally organized by Frank and Beth Slycord of the Knotty Pine and they have successfully run it the past seven years, said Denise Daly, auxiliary president. However, this year they have decided to pass the torch. The PHFD Auxiliary has coordinated efforts to keep this tradition alive with the MCS honor society. Jeannie Ball is chairwoman of the auxiliary toy drive. Families needing holiday assistance are asked to contact Ball at 546-8627, Daly at 546-3828 with the names and ages of children to receive gifts. A master list will be compiled and all the monetary donations received will be used to purchase gifts for children, Daly said. We are asking the community to please help us put a smile on a childs face this Christmas by donating and dropping off a new, unwrapped toy. Toys and cash donations can be dropped at Frank;s Knotty Pine, Sagans, Bonis Bistro & Pub or Moriah central School until Dec. 19. The toys will be distributed Dec. 21 from the Port henry fire house. We are very excited and honored to take part in this event with the help of the Moriah honor society, area businesses, community and Port Henry Fire Department members in an effort to keep this wonderful tradition alive and ongoing, Daly said.

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