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New coordinator for St. Lawrence Toys for Tots program needed

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Christmas this year for thousands of local children could be much bleaker if someone doesn’t come forward soon to carry on a worthwhile program.

Raymond J. Cutway has served as coordinator of the Toys for Tots program in St. Lawrence County for 11 years. But health concerns have compelled him to step down from the position. He has been involved in the search for a new coordinator, but so far no one has agreed to take on this task.

Run nationally by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, the renowned Toys for Tots program was founded in Los Angeles in 1947 by USMCR Major Bill Hendricks. Since then, more than 469 million toys have been distributed to more than 216 million children throughout the country, according to information from the Toys for Tots Foundation.

Last year, the St. Lawrence County Toys for Tots program gave presents to 6,332 children. But if a coordinator is not named by Thursday, the program may have to be canceled this year.

“The coordinator for the all-volunteer organization would be responsible mainly for distributing and collecting toy drop-off boxes to businesses and other locations from Oct. 1 to Dec. 15 with one or two optional toy drives held during that time,” according to a story in Sunday’s Watertown Daily Times. “The toys are distributed to 10 different agencies before they are given to children in the county. Mr. Cutway has offered to assist and train his replacement.”

There’s no doubt that a lot of work will be involved in taking on this responsibility. But Mr. Cutway would surely say that the rewards far outweigh the effort it takes to see the program through to completion every Christmas season.

There must be someone out there willing to pick up this torch and carry it forward. Individuals interested in exploring this possibility should call Mr. Cutway at 393-4830 for more information.

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