The fifth annual toy drive in memory of Sgt. Schuyler Patch is under way for the 2013 holiday season.
Last year the drive provided Christmas gifts for more than 700 children.
“This year we are fearing even higher numbers,” according to organizer Amber Patch. “With area businesses closing and job layoffs, we are anticipating higher numbers in the sign up.”
The toy drive kicked off this year with a golf outing at Kewanee Dunes on Oct. more than $2,000. Another golf outing is being planned for late summer 2014.
A number of fund-raisers are under way.
Crowe Auto Group in Kewanee will host a holiday open house on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Crowe will be serving drinks and refreshments and Santa will arrive around 1 p.m.
For every toy donated the donor will be entered into a drawing for gift certificates and other prizes.
A few other local businesses are also helping out the toy drive this year. At The Dressing Room a drawing for a coupon for up to 75 percent off your total purchase with a donation of at least $1 is planned. The event ends today at the new Dressing Room location, 415 Tenney St.
Peterson Health Care sponsored a bake sale at Peoples National Bank this month and raised $221 for the toy drive.
PL Damron’s in the Tremont Forum will again be donating a portion of their sales for November to the toy drive.
Shell Express at Main and Prospect streets will also be collecting toys and monetary donations until Dec. 16.
On Saturday, Victoria Anderson will hold a fund-raiser at Farmers Insurance, 237 Tenney St., during Small Business Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
She will be selling Perfectly Posh which is organic pampering products. She will donate her commission to the toy drive.
Also, Heather Dana of Kewanee, a 31 Gifts representative, held a fund-raiser in October which continues in November. So far, she has raised more than $250.
The Patch family is also raffling off an iPad2. Tickets can be purchased at Farmers Insurance and John’s Glass Shop, 118 E. College St., Kewanee. Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25.
The drawing will be on Saturday, Dec. 7 (need not be present to win).
People can also drop off toys at these locations anytime.
“This year due to the tornadoes we will also be donating Christmas gifts to some needy and displaced families in Washington, Ill.,” Patch said.
Wethersfield Elemen-tary School hold a toy drive in their classrooms Dec. 2 through Dec. 6. The classroom with the most toys will win a party.
Galva Elementary School will also be conducting a toy drive in their classrooms from Dec. 9 through Dec. 14. The classroom with the most toys wins a pizza party. Toys will be accepted for children from infants to age 13. Clothing, coats, books, gloves and hats will also be accepted. To include older kids ages 13 and up, gift cards to local businesses i.e. Pizza Hut, Happy Joes, Wanee Cinemas, Moatsy Bowl, Tenney Bowl, Taco Bell, McDonalds, and others are being sought.
Page 2 of 2 - Donations will be accepted until Monday, Dec.16. Toy distribution will be on Thursday, Dec. 19 and Friday, Dec. 2 at the Salvation Army store in Kewanee.
“We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and donations,” said Patch. “Schuyler loved helping people and ‘paying it forward,” she said. “This toy drive is something he would be very proud of, and we are proud of him and his sacrifice. We are proud to be a part of a great community also, who has stood by our family and supported us during our hardest times.”
Sgt. Patch was killed in Afghanistan in 2009.
For answers to questions or more information, call Amber at (309) 851-0430.