RUMFORD — The man who has been paying it forward for the past five holiday seasons received two unexpected donations Saturday.

Tucker Hamner, 7, of Mexico, donates $37 and a candy cane to his uncle Gary Dolloff of Rumford on Saturday for Dolloff’s pay-it-forward holiday campaign. Tucker’s grandmother Josanne Dolloff of Rumford, who is Gary’s sister-in-law, donates a check for $100 to the campaign. (Rumford Falls Times photo by Bruce Farrin)

Gary Dolloff of Rumford was coaching the Mountain Valley High School wrestling team at the Franklin Savings Bank Invitational when his nephew Tucker Hamner, 7, of Mexico and Tucker’s grandmother Josanne Dolloff of Rumford showed up.

Tucker presented him with a bucket containing $37, some of it earned and some of it from people he’d asked to donate to his uncle’s campaign.

Josanne Dolloff, who is Gary’s sister-in-law, presented him with $100.

“That money, along with some other money, will go to a family with three kids — two girls and a boy, Gary said. “That will get them two or three presents and I’m going to put some oil in their furnace.”

“How did you collect all this?” he asked Tucker.


“I got a bucket from Meme and I started asking people for money for kids,” Tucker said.

“The type of people I’m trying to help are those who are trying to get ahead and trying to work different jobs. If someone fills their oil tank, they could probably buy presents for their kids at Christmas,” Gary said.

He receives nominations for recipients from various sources, including many from Facebook.

People donate items and money, the latter of which is used to buy groceries, heating fuel and/or gifts.

The first year of the campaign three families were helped; last year there were 16.

“I’m now up to 24 families,” he said, including a meal and firewood for someone at Thanksgiving.


Why does he pay it forward?

“When I was a kid, my grandparents raised eight of us,” he said. “They had a real hard time putting presents under the tree. One year, when I was 12 or 13, Santa Claus showed up with a big bag of toys, and we ended up getting five or six presents apiece from this guy. And he showed up three years in a row. I never forgot that and I just want to pay it forward.”

To donate this week, people may visit the Greater Rumford Community Center at 50 Congress St., where Gary is director, or call 369-9906.

[email protected]

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