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Community Members Help Santa with $8,000 for Toys for Tots

The small group of community members shopped with around $8,000 of donated funds to give to Toys for Tots of Portage County.

Bill Fonti, the man behind the funds raised said they filled 29 carts of toys, which was about 1,000 toys all together.

Those numbers top last years's 19 carts.

More money, equals more toys, which in the end, means more giving.

Little 7-year-old Rose Fonti added another toy to the cart as she looked at her list for the next.

But she's not shopping for herself.

"Where is it? Trying to find it ... We need superhero stuff!"

She shopped for kids who may not have expected Christmas gifts this year.

On Monday, her dad Bill Fonti, Furniture and Appliance Mart CEO, got some community members together to shop with $8,000 he raised for Toys for Tots.

"We've done this for 7 years," Fonti said. "Ever since Rose was born, I've been involved in it. We've been shopping personally for toys in the past four years."

Toys for Tots Coordinator said the toys provide more than happiness for the kids.

"Basic essentials are important and vital to make a good Christmas," Gerber said. "But I can't imagine anything more sad than if a child didn't have a toy under the Christmas tree."

Gerbert said the toys provide hope for kids, Monday's spree will give to around 1,300 kids in Portage County.

"It delivers a message of hope," Gerbert said. "It delivers a message of hope that someone cares. That it'll be better today. That the future is going to be better."

From her pink sparkly boots to her red bow in her hair, Rose believes with all her might that these toys will help kids.

"Oh, C'mon!"

They'll help kids believe in a holiday that tends to bring out a big gift, from someone as small and dainty as her.

Gerbert said the big items this year are Leggos, anything Duck Dynasty for the boys and from the new movie "Frozen" for the girls.
All the toys will go through "Operation Bootstrap" and the Salvation Army before distribution to the families.

If you know a child that needs a toy from Toys for Tots or your business would like to have a Toys for Tots collection bin, call Jami Gebert at 321-3100.

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