James D. Wallace Jr. of Standish was one of those familiar names at the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund, a faithful donor who sent a check each year to help buy holiday gifts for needy children.

This year, there are a lot of donations bearing his name. His family knows that’s the way he would have wanted it.

Wallace died unexpectedly on Nov. 25 at the age of 57. He grew up in South Portland and worked as a police officer there before becoming a familiar and friendly face at the Cumberland County Courthouse, where he worked on the security team.

He also had a lot going on outside the job. He raised turkeys, pigs, cows and made maple syrup and cider. He owned draft horses that marched in parades and pulled sleigh rides at Smiling Hill Farm. He enjoyed playing saxophone, scuba diving and driving his Corvette.

Mostly, though, he was a father and grandfather and a man known for being kind, caring and sentimental.

With his own children and grandchildren always provided for at the holidays, Wallace sent annual donations to the fund to help other kids enjoy Christmas.


Director Kathleen Meade knew the toy fund had lost a true friend when donations began appearing in memory of James Wallace. His family had asked that any gifts be sent to the charity.

“There have been lots of donations. People have been very sweet,” Meade said.

The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund is using donations from readers to provide toys to about 7,000 Maine children who might otherwise not receive holiday gifts because of hardships faced by their parents.

The fund – now in its 66th year – is accepting applications for toys from needy families in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln and Knox counties. Applications can be downloaded at pressheraldtoyfund.org or picked up at the Welcome Center desk on the fifth floor of One City Center in Portland. Call 791-6672 to have one mailed to you.

Donations to help buy the toys can be made on the website or by writing checks to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund and mailing them to the fund at P.O. Box 7310, Portland, ME 04112.

The campaign’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000. The total raised so far is $17,931.



In memory of my mom, Dorothy Bruney $50

Marie Barlow $100

American Legion Libby-Mitchell Post 76 $150

In loving memory of Uncle Bob from the Miller family $75

In memory of Don and Marion Dyer from Kenneth and Margaret Riddell $25


In loving memory of Leslie and Belinda Gray from Herb and Jackie Gray $50

Charles Fisher $100

Steven Capriola $50

Anonymous $100

In memory of my beloved husband, Bob. I miss you so much! Simone LaPierre $25

In memory of T. L. McDonough from Kathryn Higgins $50


Debbie Nelson $30

Kathleen Potrepka $40

In memory of Red, Marie and Gayle Crapse and John and Lorena Knight from Nan and Dick Knight… $50

Lorna Dorsey $50

Patricia and Jerrell Messner $40

In memory of our loved ones from Harold Warren and Dolores Carver $100


In loving memory of Alfred, Cecil, Florence and Rhoda from Pamela Brant $100

In memory of Jackie – Anonymous $100

Merry Christmas from the 12 C’s! $120

To the happy faces on Christmas morning from Donna Lee and Frank Mower $50

In honor of our twin grandsons, Zachary and Nathaniel Prentiss – Arthur and Barbara Prentiss…$25

Peter and Caitlin Kane $100


From an old friend $25

In loving memory of Lindy Coughlin by his parents $100

Kathleen Murray-Allain $300

In memory of Michele Nee $100

In memory of Brooks – Joyce and family, from Ellen McDonough $200

In loving memory of Dick Britton from his family $100

Today’s total: $2,405

Year to date: $17,931