Roundup will serve all seeking food, toys

‘Little miracle’ as town rallies to support effort
Reporter Editor

Yes, Rockdale, there is a Santa Claus, and it’s you.

One month after representatives of Christmas Roundup—Rockdale’s annual program to spread cheer to the needy— announced they might not be able to serve all applicants for the first time ever, a groundswell of community support has come to the rescue.

Monday was deadline day to apply for deliveries of food and toys on Dec. 20 and a relieved Ann King, Roundup spokesperson, told The Reporter Tuesday that volunteers will not have to send out letters, as originally feared, turning down applicants.

“There may still be three or four letters going out, like there are every year, to applicants whose income is really way in excess of what this program is all about, and we will redirect some applicants who live out of the area to efforts in other places,” she said.

But there won’t be the mass “sorry, no toys” mailings Roundup had feared. Originally those letters were to have gone out this week with applicants knowing their status by Monday, Dec. 12.

MIRACLE—King termed the community effort over the past month a “little miracle.”

“It was a grass roots effort, and I mean it was everyone from kids in pre-kindergarten to some of the oldest residents of this town,” King said.

“A number of businesses ran Roundup promotions and helped us a great deal,” King said. “There were dances, benefits.”

“And the schools were fantastic,” she said. “Elementary and intermediate children collected canned goods,” she said. “That’s money we didn’t have to spend on food and could apply elsewhere.”

Saturday’s Buddy Oney Toy Run (see below) raised $1,700 to buy toys.

And, Roundup board member Rita Juergens reported even “Scrooge” made a sizeable cash donation to the effort.

Food and toy donations can still be taken to Rockdale Signs at any time or dropped in donation boxes at schools, banks and many local businesses. Cash donations may be made to Juergens at Citizens National Bank or sent to PO Box 509, Rockdale.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED—But the effort is far from complete.

“We still need volunteers for the huge tasks of sacking, sorting and delivery,” King said.

The Knights of Columbus Hall will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 18 to accept donations. It will open at 9 a.m. the next day for sacking, sorting and filling boxes.

Volunteers are especially needed for delivery on Dec. 20, King said.

ROUNDUP IN JULY—“One thing that will be different this year is that the day after the deliveries we will be completely out of money,” King said.

“We will probably need to do some kind of fund raising effort for 2012,” she said. “Something like a ‘Roundup in July.’ We’ve never had to do that before.”

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