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Mont Alto toy drive shifts into high gear

December 07, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

MONT ALTO, PA. -- Mont Alto area firefighters and supporters are working like elves this month to wrap gifts and get ready for the community's annual toy drive.

On Wednesday, Boy Scouts and Penn State Mont Alto students pitched in for the first gift-wrapping session leading up to the Dec. 20 delivery. The Mont Alto Fire Department delivers in its area, as well as South Mountain through a partnership with the South Mountain Fire Department.

"We're still collecting toys, food and money," organizer Penny Adolini said.

Started more than 10 years ago, the toy drive for families in need culminates with the gifts' delivery from a caravan of firetrucks. Santa Claus jumps out of a truck to greet children.

"Especially this time of year and with the economy being down, we want to remember Christmas and ensure the kids have gifts on Christmas," Adolini said.

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Families also are given baskets of food and gift cards.

"It seems like our food donations are down, and the toys for kids ages 12 to 16 are down," Adolini said.

Children in that age range like handheld games, the new Bop It and K'NEX, she said.

"Right now, we have close to 30 families," Adolini said, saying the number probably will increase closer to the delivery date.

Department volunteers delivered to 50 families last year. Before that, they delivered to 140 families in a larger geographic area, but scaled back the work when the economy soured and donations diminished.

For more information about the toy drive, call 717-749-5151 or visit the firehouse on Pa. 997 about 6 miles north of Waynesboro, Pa.

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