August 31, 2014

Elyria
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Readers’ generosity provides 12,055 toys, surpassing goal by more than 4,000

ELYRIA — The cup runneth over for the Not-Forgotten Box, which has made Christmas dreams come true for children for 54 years.

Again and again Friday, the lobby of The Chronicle-Telegram filled up with toys and gifts. And again and again, The Chronicle’s maintenance man, Kevin Hill, pulled a van and box truck around and — along with many others — carted out the toys and drove them to the Salvation Army.

When the toys had been counted, the grand total stood at 12,055 — far exceeding the 8,000-toy goal. That goal was topped Thursday, but it didn’t stop the generous folks of Lorain County from continuing to give for one more day.

Typical of those with big hearts was Karen Ennes of Elyria Township, who arrived shortly before the 5 p.m. deadline. She dropped off a $50 check on behalf of her family.

Also arriving in the nick of time were members of the Lake Erie H.O.G. Chapter 3738, including 80-year-old Arlene Morrison, who has been riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles for 50 years.

The only chapter member with more time in the group was the late George Stevens, former owner of Elyria Harley-Davidson and Lake Erie Harley-Davidson, according to chapter member Ron Long.

“George had her beat by two months,” Long said of Morrison. “She did almost 400 miles this year.”

Another member of the H.O.G. chapter, Carolyn Liggett, said the toy drive was done in honor of Stevens, who was beloved in the biker community.

The newspaper’s staff was still counting — and delivering — toys well into the evening.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone,” said Lucy Goldsmith, customer service manager for The Chronicle and Medina Gazette.

The paper even received calls and emails from people who wanted to lend a hand to the Salvation Army during the busy distribution days next week.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.