Joe Alese Toy Drive Begins Tomorrow

(KP 2018 File Photo)

Last year’s toy collection resulted in almost 1,000 toys (as pictured above). This year, the Ford City Lions Club hopes to exceed the 1,000-toy goal. 

The 29th Annual Joe Alese Toy Drive is in full swing to make Christmas a bit merrier for children in Armstrong County.

Alese, a local entertainer, was a member of the Ford City Lions Club, according to member Brad Baillie.

“This project was started years ago with Joe and his wife, Virginia. With Joe’s passing, Virginia took it on with the help of their church. With Virginia’s passing, her daughter, Carla, took it on. And Joe, being a member of the Lions Club, I stepped up to help,” Baillie said.

The toy drive started with filling a van or two, but now fills an entire school bus with toys for all age groups. A. J. Myers Bus Company donates the school bus for collection and transportation to the Masonic Lodge on Route 85.

Drop-off locations include Armstrong and West Shamokin high schools, and West Hills, Shannock, and Dayton elementary schools. Lenape Tech and the Salvation Army are also participating.

“They can also give the toy to any Ford City Lions Club member and we will make sure it gets on the bus,” Baillie said.

Toys are asked to be new in their original container and not wrapped.

Toy collection will end on December 10 and the toys will be handed out on December 17.

The process is coordinated through the Kittanning Salvation Army. If you know a family that should be included in the toy distribution, please have them contact the Salvation Army at 724-543-6622.