The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 17, 2011

Mac's Toy Fund party a success

By Sarah Plummer
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — The annual Mac’s Toy Fund distribution party aided between 2,500 t0 3,000 needy children in Raleigh County Saturday by providing toys, coats and food with the help of hundreds of volunteers at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

Mac’s Toy Fund Treasurer Sherrie Hunter is quick to point out that 81 years ago, the long-running fund began with one man, and in the fund’s early years, founder Ted “Mac” McDowell, then editor of the Beckley Post-Herald, was seen as the area’s Santa Claus.

“The McDowells were not able to have children, but to think that now he is the great-great-Santa of all these thousands of children who come through the line every year, is amazing. What Ted McDowell did when he started this fund back in The Great Depression was incredible, but it is even more incredible that this has been a sustaining toy giveaway for this long,” she explained.

According to vice-president Pete Torrico, Mac’s Toy Fund still runs with the help of individuals, each single person giving back.

“It’s not only about giving kids toys. It is about the volunteers getting the opportunity to give back. The heart of Mac’s Toy Fund is the volunteers who work before the party even starts. They are the unsung heroes, those who give money, donate toys or work to prepare for the See complete story in Sunday's edition of The Register-Herald.