Help the Goodfellows help local kids

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C&G Newspapers

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — One thing is certain: Without the Goodfellows organization, Christmas would be a lot less jolly for a lot of local children.

Year after year, the Goodfellows work hard to make sure their No Child Without a Christmas program is a success. But they need some help from the public, too.

“We work with the citizens of the community to make sure we complete that mission,” said David Dare, current president of the Clinton Township Goodfellows.

On Oct. 26, the Clinton Township Goodfellows will host their annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser to garner money for the No Child Without a Christmas program.

The event takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Italian-American Cultural Center on Romeo Plank in Clinton Township. Attendees pay $7 a person, which includes a full spaghetti dinner and the chance to participate in other activities, such as the 50/50 raffle and a bake sale. Santa may also make an appearance at the event.

The money garnered from the fundraiser goes straight toward helping the Goodfellows purchase toys for local children in need.

“The fundraiser is the Goodfellows primary fundraiser, and it’s pretty much to buy toys,” said Paul Silvestri, media relations person for the Clinton Township Goodfellows.

Throughout the month of November, the Goodfellows will have several dates lined up when local families in need can register to receive the toys. The Goodfellows will go out and purchase the toys, then deliver them to the families before Christmas time.

“When we register families, we ask the parents for what their children like, and then we go out and get the toys ourselves, then wrap the gifts and give them to the families themselves,” explained Silvestri.

Dare said last year the organization helped out 700 families and 1,250 children altogether.

“Our goal this year is definitely to exceed that, given the economic struggle that everyone is going through,” he said.

Dare added that all year he focuses on making sure No Child Without a Christmas is a success.

“This is my motivation for being a Goodfellow. In today’s economy and in today’s world, there’s not a lot of positive influences in a child’s life. But I guarantee when a kid gets a gift from the Goodfellows … they aren’t thinking, ‘Oh, I got a gift.’ They are thinking, ‘Oh, someone cares about me.’ I can guarantee that,” he said. “The little things that we do now hopefully has that positive impact to help them later on.”

The 2011 Christmas Assistance registration dates are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 3 and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library at 40900 Romeo Plank Road in Clinton Township. Registration will also be held at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library, 35891 S. Gratiot Avenue in Clinton Township, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 7, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 9, and from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Those looking to register must bring proof of residency in Clinton Township, proof of income and proof of family size.

For more information, visit www. clintontownshipgoodfellows.com.