Rooftop toy drive at Fred's Saturday

Published 2:50 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
Santa's reindeers won't be the only ones prancing and pawing on the rooftops this holiday season.
Firemen from the Atmore Fire Department &Rescue Department, and DeeDra Kelley from Atmore Disaster Response Team will take to the roof of the Fred's building on Lindberg Avenue for the second year in a row to collect toys for less fortunate children in the Atmore area.
The group will climb to the roof of the discount retailer at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 and will not come down until their full-size pick-up truck is filled with new toys.
Members of the local firefighters union will be on the ground to collect toys and money that will be delivered to the eligible families.
Last year's toy drive brought in 450 toys valued at $2,020 and $438 in cash that was donated to families in Coden, a small community left devastated from Hurricane Katrina.
"This year we want to help our local children," Kelley said. "We are asking for families who need assistance to come by Joey's Furniture and fill out an application."
The deadline for applications is Dec. 15. Applications received after that date will not be considered for delivery.
After all the applications in Atmore are filled, the remainder of donated toys and money will then go to the White Christmas Program.
"The White Christmas Program is a division of the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program out of north Baldwin County," Atmore fireman Jeremy Blackmon said. "They serve the north Baldwin County and west Escambia County areas. As of this week they already had 300 applications for children in need this Christmas."
Blackmon and his fellow firemen are coordinating this year's toy drive as a way to support the White Christmas Program as well as local children.
This year's drive is being coordinated by the IAFF local firefighters union 4101. Atmore firemen who will be on hand to collect toys this Saturday will be Lavon Parham, union president, Daniel White, union vice-president, Jeremy Blackmon, union secretary/treasurer and Dan Currie, union PIO, Jeremy Lee and Andy Hammonds.
"We do three projects a year and this is the second time for the toy drive," Blackmon said. "We plan to continue it each year as our fall and winter project. We coordinate with DeeDra and the ADRT to get the toys out to the children who need them most."

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