For the second year in a row, newspaper readers have donated more than $200,000 to brighten the holidays for Maine children whose families are struggling through hard times.

The 72-year-old Press Herald Toy Fund in the Spirit of Bruce Roberts had seen annual fundraising decline in recent years, but the pandemic forced more families to seek help and it inspired more readers to donate money to make sure thousands of deserving children received gifts to unwrap.

“It’s a really good sign,” said Kathleen Meade, longtime director of the Press Herald Toy Fund. Meade said many new donors gave in memory of family members who were loyal supporters of the fund in years past. And many others were first time donors who just learned about the effort, Meade said.

Donations from readers of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Sun Journal in Lewiston and The Times Record in Brunswick allow the toy fund to provide gifts to thousands of children in need in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Androscoggin and Knox counties. To help, go to

Donations are still arriving (they are accepted year round) and the newspapers will continue to publish the names of donors in the coming days.


In loving memory of Rebecca Fox Carr, and her brother, Howard Fox. Love, Bill Carr $50
John & Jean Northrop $100
In loving memory of our Great Grampy Toby, from Audrey, Eva and Tobin $100
In memory of Clifford & Lauretta Babkirk, who both loved the magic of Christmas! Beverly Bridges $50
In memory of Gam & Bump $100
In honor of our grandchildren – Reese, Ryan and Jordan $100
In memory of Nana and Grampy Brown $100
In memory of Betsy $100
In memory of Richard Collins, my husband, from his wife and son $50
Robert & Phyllis Wagstaff $100
Miss Portland Diner $500
Benjamin Soule $50
CEFD Hose Company No. 2 $200
In memory of Mom & Dad, Joyce and Kathy, from Mike $75
Ben & Mary Pratt $100
In memory of Ray D. Gibson $20
In memory of Busler Filiault & Bill Usher – both loved all children $100
In memory of the Conant, Reed and McAloney family members. From Dorothy & Ed McAloney $50
In honor of our grandchildren – Maggie, Jane, Charlie and Ella $100
Allie & Sophie $35
With thanks to Ellen $25
Laddie Deemer $100
Anonymous $100
For our dear friend, Teresa, in honor of her mom, Charlotte $125
In memory of our parents, Dorothea & Dick Bartlett, and Marcel & Jeannette Gendron. Forever missed, Rick & Jeannine $50
Anonymous $100
Merry Christmas from Piper. We are blessed to have her $50
Gary & Cindy Beck $50
In memory of Ed Needham $100
From Addison, Preston and Moses $100
In loving memory of Justin Robinson, from Jeff & Anita $100
Anonymous $100
In honor of Luca & Owen Turnbull $100
Bo Norris & Cathy Houlihan $500
In honor of our granddaughter, Lucy. From Pop Pop and Nannie $100
Anonymous $50

TOTAL TO DATE: $200,509.53

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