In December 1949, Josiah H. Drummond and Anne (Strahan) Drummond were a young married couple preparing Christmas for their growing family on Portland’s West End.

He was a well-known Portland attorney. She was a Smith College graduate who volunteered and managed an apple orchard in Bridgton.

They would raise five children on Neal Street, and spend summer days with their family on Sebago Lake.

Also in 1949, a new charity was formed in Portland to make sure children did not go without Christmas presents because their parents had no money to pay for them. The charity is now known as the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund in the Spirit of Bruce Roberts, and it still uses donations from newspaper readers to buy toys for needy families.

Josiah and Anne Drummond made sure to donate to the fund that first year, and every year after that. As their children grew up, they also learned the value of the fund and shared the desire to help.

So, when their parents died, the Drummond children kept the annual donation going. The family’s $500 gift to the charity arrived again this month with the note: “JOCIJIANNA – Our 67th year! Happy Holidays!”

The name JOCIJIANNA is made up of the first two letters of the names of all five children: Josiah Jr., who died two years ago, Cindy, Jimmy, Andrew and Nancy.

“My parents started it and we just kept the tradition ongoing in honor of them,” said Cindy (Drummond) Choate of Falmouth.

The children, now in their 60s and 70s, grew up in a home where Christmas was “a busy, festive time,” Choate said. And they learned early on that some children were not as lucky, she said.

She was only a toddler when her parents sent that first donation to the fund in 1949, but Choate figures she knows why they did. “It’s the reason we all do it – because we are fortunate enough to be able to help others.”

The Portland Press Herald Toy Fund in the Spirit of Bruce Roberts is using donations from readers to provide toys to thousands of Maine children who might otherwise not receive holiday gifts because of hardships faced by their parents.

The fund – now in its 67th year – is accepting applications for toys from needy families in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln and Knox counties. Applications can be downloaded at 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.

For more information and to donate online, go to:

See more stories about the fund at


In loving memory of our parents: Anna & Domenico Floridino and Philis Peverada – Tony & Angie Peverada  $100

In memory of EBA  $200

Merry Christmas! Pam Meader  $25

Charles and Gail Mason  $75

Loons Haven Campground  $75

Merry Christmas! Mr. & Mrs. Charles Dodge  $100

In memory of Charlie and Ray Adams – Merry Christmas  $100

In memory of my husband, Richard F. Collins Sr., from Rachel Collins  $50

In memory of Tommie C, Dad C, & Mom and Dad O – Linda and Jackie  $25

In memory of Ron Audette at Christmas  $100

Brian Hutchins  $25

From Rusty and Mittens  $40

Very Best Wishes from Ellen & Mark Russell  $50

Anonymous  $20

Merry Christmas from Marilyn & Virgil Weeman  $25

Margaret Johnson  $25

Wallace & Eileen Garroway  $50

For the teens from the Little Falls girls  $135

Maine Nephrology Associates  $200

In memory of Ella and Bick  $25

In memory of Lillian Ronfeldt, Margaret Parker, Richard Sweetsir  $25

Gaston C. S. Lee  $25

Georgina Irving  $100

David LaLiberte  $100

In memory of Jeanne Mayberry  $50

Benjamin Soule  $50

In loving memory of our grandparents George & Dorothy Robinson: Joshua, Eric, Amanda, Kayla, Sofie, Reid, Avery, Mitchel  $100

In memory of George A. Stewart Jr.  $50

In memory of Ann & Paul Chandle  $50

From Acadia, Zachary and Ganon Stewart  $50

In loving memory of Frank & Zoe Swift  $25

In memory of Mimi & Papa and in honor of Lincoln, from Stephanie Kelley  $15

Have the merriest of holidays. Enjoy peace and goodwill, from Jennifer Maybin  $50

Merry Christmas! Mae and Dennis  $50

Patricia Washburn  $100

Barb & Bob Luke  $100

Anonymous  $50

Anonymous  $100

John & June McClean  $100

Anonymous  $10

Total to date:  $116,527.60