James Wallace of Standish was a police officer, a security officer at the Cumberland County Courthouse, a horse owner, a musician and more. And he had a real soft spot for kids.

Henrietta “Henty” LaRou was a community leader in South Portland, contributing her energy to libraries, the historical society and the land trust. And she wanted all children to be happy at Christmas.

Paul J. White of Cumberland had a long career in finance, a sense of humor and a love for family and community. And he shared his good fortune to help children with less.

Those are a few of the many longtime supporters of the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund who are no longer with us, but who are remembered each year because of generous donations to the toy fund made in their names. It’s a tradition that goes back to the beginnings of the 68-year-old charity.

Of course, the many gifts that arrive in memory of loved ones do not necessarily have to be in honor of toy fund supporters. The point is simply that we remember them and miss them, whoever they are – or, in some cases, whatever they are.

Many donations arrive in memory of beloved pets, for example, such as the recently received $500 check “in memory of Paws.”

And then there are the mystery donations, such as a $15 check that arrived recently “in memory of ‘the Creeper.’ ”

Whoever Paws and the Creeper were, they are missed, and the fund is grateful that donors choose to remember loved ones by bringing joy to children at the holidays.

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. Bruce Roberts was the pen name of the newspaper columnist who co-founded the fund in 1949.

The fund is accepting applications for toys from needy families in Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Androscoggin and Knox counties.

Donations to help buy the toys can be made at pressheraldtoyfund.org 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.

TOY FUND DONATIONS

In the spirit of Bruce Roberts $100

In memory of Nancy Foshay $100

Thank you! From Stanis Moody Roberts $400

In memory of “Bruce Roberts” from Unity Lodge #3 Ioof $500

In honor of Alanna, Jordan, Maria, Sam, Noah, Ethan, Lara, Dara, Finnegan, James, Meriwether and Oliver $300

In memory of our son, Jonathan Michael Sawyer $100

In memory of Tommy Langella from Lucy and Dad $50

In memory of Uncle Tim, Uncle Pete, Uncle Mike from your family $100

Anonymous $25

In honor of all Fund volunteers $50

In loving memory of Mike and Teddy Dickey, who both loved Christmas! From the Ruels $100

In memory of Jack $200

“For the children” St. Brigid School teachers and staff $85

Nancy Ball $100

Anonymous $200

Anonymous $100

Sharon and Patrick Lee $100

Laura George Almedia $30

In memory of Timothy Haley from Fred and Maryeileen Haley $200

In memory of Alice and John Dube, who always made Christmas magical $100

In loving memory of James R. Thornton, who loved children, from K.C.T $100

Jeffrey Skaggs $100

Chebeague Island Fire Department $197

The Hildreth family $200

In loving memory of my husband and daughter, Herbert R. and Roxanne Adams $50

In honor of Aidan, Collin, Duke and Ella $100

In honor of Lois, Joe, Walt and Ella $100

From the family of Bob’s Welding Services; Bob & Terry, Jess, Tim, Abby, Sam, Rob, Trish, Carly, Chris, Jenn, Xavier $150

Anonymous $200

Peter Murray $100

In loving memory of our parents, Matt and Jane Oreskovich $100

Sandee and Jeff Greenleaf “God Bless the Children” $50

Anonymous $100

Anonymous $50

In loving memory of my husband, Bob Palmer; my parents, Bob & Bertha White; and my sister, Debby Preble $40

Happy Holidays! Michael Frost DMD $100

In memory of Bernard & Bertha Garland from their girls $100

Merry Christmas! Lorraine Sarno $10

Lynn and Theresa McCabe $100

In memory of Terri Regan $50

Michael and Mary Booth $100

In memory of those we have lost – Michael and Delores Veit $100

PACx2, K.D., CC, PHJM, Kaeley, Alex, Nick, Maisy, Finn, Bailey, JEC, DEC $100

Anonymous $50

Skillin School Student Council $100

In memory of Ray D. Gibson $20

From the tenants of 156-158 Danforth St $300

From the tenants of 255-257 York St $75

From the tenants of 57 Tyng St $75

In loving memory of George & Mary Bertalan and Martin & Margaret Feeney $100

Year to date: $96,762

filed under: