Jen McPherson, left, Cary Bradbury and Katie Houghton stand inside the Dixfield Discount Fuel booth Oct. 16 at the Rumford Pumpkin Fest. The three are leading the 12th annual toy drive to provide Christmas gifts to local elementary school students. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — The 12th annual Dixfield Discount Fuel Toy Drive is off and running to bring smiles to local elementary students at Christmastime.

Office Manager Katie Houghton and Jen McPherson, assisted by Vice President Cary Bradbury and their delivery drivers, are leading an effort with area communities to make this their largest toy drive ever.

“This is the busiest time of year for our crew but is also our favorite time of year,” Houghton said. “This toy drive is something that really gets us excited. It is emotional, incredible and humbling to watch it unfold. We are always thinking of new ways to make it better and help more children.”

While the drive’s first year consisted of one box to a school, last year there were truckloads for all the local elementary and middle schools, the Chisholm School and the Western Foothills Regional Program.

Resident Richard Sarle donated three tricycles for the Dixfield Discount Fuel Toy Drive, which provides toys to local elementary students at Christmas. Submitted photo

There were also special packages to the middle schools — toiletry bags for 80 students with a $5 Dunkin’ gift card in each bag.

“This community has been nothing short of amazing to grow up in, as well as raise our own families,” Houghton said. “I have seen over and over the generosity that we have all around us. When we all pull together to make these local benefits and toy drives successful, it really shows that we are all quite a team. We are so proud to be a part of this River Valley community!”


Houghton is asking for help from local businesses. Donations include toys, educational games, ear buds, gift cards, and/or cash to purchase clothing.

Drop-off boxes are at:

• Rumford — Hotel Rumford, which is offering a discounted meal with a toy, United Insurance, Rumford Police Station/Rumford Town Office, Chamberlain’s Tap & Table, Kreckel Law, Franklin Savings Bank, Larry Labonte Recovery Center, Rumford Eagles and Aubuchon.

• Mexico — Oxford Federal Credit Union and Mexico Fire Station.

• Dixfield — SmartCare Physical Therapy and P’Zazz.

• Peru — Town Office.

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