FOPA plans annual toy drive

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – “We are very happy with all the local business that are contributing to our annual event,” said Tim Wilson, chairman for the Fraternal Order of Police Associates Lodge #13 Annual Toy Drive. The FOPA #13 will hold its fourth annual toy drive during the St. Clairsville holiday parade on Thursday, Nov. 21. The trailer will be parked across from the Courthouse at the top of Market St. Extension from 5:30 p.m. until the end of the parade.

New, unwrapped toys, books and gifts for infants through 18 years, for both girls and boys, will be accepted. Members will also accept cash donations to purchase gift cards for teens. However, the drive is not for clothing items.

“It would be great if everyone who came to the parade brought a toy to drop off,” Wilson added. “If everyone attending the parade brought one toy each, we could fill the trailer. We know the economy is tough, but imagine how tough it is to be a young child without a toy on Christmas day.”

Doug McGilton, president of the FOPA #13, recalls a woman who donated her life’s collection of dolls to 2012’s drive. This year, another woman donated her doll collection to the drive.

Both the AARP Belmont County Chapter 2994 and the Wilson Shannon Questers have donated toys to the drive all four years. Other groups joining the effort include the St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #6, the St.Clairsville Walmart, the Tridelphia Walmart, Hughes Xerographic, Valley Plaza Monro Muffler and the Mary Reed Circle at Thoburn United Methodist Church.

The Lynch & Associates Nationwide Insurance office in St. Clairsville will provide a coupon for a free Christmas photo at Angela Wines Photography for anyone dropping off a toy during the parade.

For those who cannot attend the parade, drop boxes will be available until Thursday, Dec. 19 at the following locations: St. Clairsville Chamber office, Valley Plaza Monro Muffler, Wilson Appraisal Service and the Lynch & Associates Nationwide Insurance office.

This year, the FOPA welcomes Boscov’s as a new drop off location. For more information about the Boscov’s location, contact Haley Steed at (740) 699-2700.

Wilson says other organizations, businesses or individuals who would like to participate or donate can call his office at (740) 695-2220. Monetary donations can also be mailed to the FOPA #13 at P.O. Box 291, St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950.