Dianne Goodrich and Deb Abbondanza opened box after box of new toys in the Press Herald Toy Fund workshop Wednesday, restocking inventory as their fellow volunteers filled bags with gifts and carried them out for parents who arrived for pickups.

“Santa Claus doesn’t have much more time,” said Abbondanza.

After months of planning and weeks of work unpacking and sorting toys and books, the Toy Fund is in the final stretch of the season.

Goodrich, who is from Gorham, and Abbondanza, who lives in Cumberland, were busy unpacking a new shipment of toys ordered last week because the workshop was running low on gifts for children from 12 to 16 years old.

“We just got a new batch in the other day,” said Goodrich.

Last-minute gift orders are nothing new for Toy Fund organizers, who try their best to predict the needs each year but are used to surprises. This year, there are more older kids who need help. Next year, it might be toddlers.


“You don’t know how old the kids are going to be when the applications come in,” Abbondanza said. “You hope to be prepared.”

The volunteers are always prepared for the unexpected. And they say they even enjoy the end-of-season scrambling to make sure every child is served.

“It’s a way to give back a little,” said Goodrich, “and feel good about it.”

Donors also are coming through once again. The Toy Fund continues to receive a steady flow of dollars to pay for the toys and books that will soon be in the hands of thousands of children.

To make a donation online, go to pressherald.com/toy-fund.

Checks made out to the Portland Press Herald Toy Fund may be mailed to 295 Gannett Drive, South Portland ME 04106.


Names of donors are published in the Press Herald, the Sun Journal and the Times Record unless a donor wishes to remain anonymous.


(note: some donations include an additional amount to cover transaction fees)

In memory of Phil, Henty and Laurie LaRou    $263.33

Mark Nakell       $52.91

Anonymous       $105.52


Anonymous       $52.91

Merry Christmas!            Margaret White $26.61

In memory of Louis D. Robichaud. We love you dad.         Rick and Linda Robichaud     $210.73

Merry Christmas!            Heather, Neil, Ainsley & Lexie     $300

In loving memory of Alice and Avis Emery                          $105.52

Anonymous       $31.87


For my mother C. Barbara who loved all children James and Kathy    $21.35

Here is to making a child’s Christmas Merry and Bright!   Steve and Jane Martin              $500

Merry Christmas             Robert and Mary Read   $1,052.40

The Giles Family              $105.52

Merry Christmas to all!  Henry, Amelia & Leo Endres              $105.52

Lynn Ross           $52.91


Anonymous       $105.52

In memory of Jean & Larry Epstein & George F. Leahy      The Epstein family    $210.73

With best wishes and gratitude to the Maine Millennial                $21.35

In memory of Ronald Leeman from his family                    $105.52

The Maine Millennial inspired me to give this year – happy holidays to all the good kids who benefit from the Toy Fund!              Peter Freilinger $105.52

In loving memory of Twila D and David C Holt this Christmas.              David & Cori Holt            $105.52


Given as God’s agent to children God loves very much, helping them to know He has not forgotten each and everyone of them              Aunt Priscilla and Uncle Alan      $105.52

In loving memory of Rev. & Mrs. Robert Haldane Sr. and our beloved Bentley. Merry Christmas!          Dave & Cathy              $105.52

In loving memory of our parents Robert & Elizabeth Sawtelle and Daniel & Camilla Bellino. Merry Christmas!   Dave & Cathy              $105.52

Anonymous       $25.00

Jeff & Denise Wentworth            Jeff Wentworth $52.91

Anonymous       $105.52


Warmest holiday wishes                            $105.52

Patricia D. Grondin         $52.91

Ruth & Hank Foundation             Ruth Brown       $158.12

Anonymous       $158.12

Happy Holidays Zaitlin Enterprises LLC    $75

Wesley Lovejoy $315.93


Merry Christmas with Love         K. Wilson            $105.52

Merry Christmas                           $105.52

Anonymous       $105.52

Merry Christmas!            John M. McKeon             $52.91

Mimi Gough and Tim Reardon    $105.52

Anonymous       $105.52


In memory of the generosity of my Uncle Al         Bernadette Pesce    $52.91

Given in honor of our grandchildren: Alanna, Jordan, Sam, Noah, Maria, Ethan, Lara, Dara, Finn, James, Meriwether, Oliver              William & Mary  Jean Holt           $300

In memory of Chas Towle Jr.        Anthony Curro  $500

Happy Birthday Mom!   Joan Cirbus & Thomas Wescott  $100

Etta  V. Pols        $100

In honor of my favorite Maine Millennial and Juno           Mary  &  William Holt  $100


In appreciation for all we have    Deborah & Thomas Coward              $100

Teresa W. Messer            $152

Happy holidays!              $250

In memory of Nathan Eloian     from David & Mark    $100

David & Barbara Dulac   $300

Happy holidays to all!     Dan & Ruthann Baker     $100


Philip & Diane Tinkham $100

In memory of my husband, Roland Baker.             Colleen Baker              $50

Cynthia Lane      $25

TOTAL TO DATE: $112,164.94

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