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EDITORIAL: Help us get to OPSUN finish line

Observer-Dispatch - 12/20/2017

Dec. 20--We're almost there.

With just four days left until Christmas, we're only $2,118 away from making Operation Sunshine's $65,000 goal for this holiday season.

With your help, we can do it.

Contributions this year have been steady and generous. It's clear once again that the good people in this community warmly embrace Operation Sunshine as they have done since it began in 1968. Such generosity has helped thousands of needy children in this community.

We've had longtime donors like Ed Blask and Ed Paparella, who definitely prove that two Eds are better than one. Neither Blask, of Whitesboro, nor Paparella, of Clinton, can pinpoint exactly when they first started donating to the charity. Nor can they remember when they did not.

"I have been contributing since the beginning or very close to it," said Blask, 93, a World War II Navy veteran who once owned a popular Ford dealership in Yorkville and Barneveld.

Paparella said he and his wife Barb have been regular donors at least since 1980.

While not every contributor can claim such longevity, many of the names seen in the O-D's periodic listing of donors appear year after year -- a steadfast commitment. For instance, Earle Reed, founder of the Boilermaker Road Race, regularly makes multiple donations to every campaign, insisting on meeting the goal before Christmas Day.

Other partners are equally committed. Consider Scot and Jill Hayes, owners of New York Sash, who have been the fire behind the popular Teddy Bear Toss for more than a decade. Working hand-in-hand with Utica College hockey coach Gary Heenan and his Pioneers, Hayes figures they have collected more than 30,000 stuffed animals for Operation Sunshine and several other charities over the past 13 years.

In addition to the Teddy Bear Toss, the toy drive relies on a unique partnership that includes the Observer-Dispatch, Marines Corps Toys for Tots, Townsquare Media (WIBX and Bill Keeler), Spectrum, New York Sash and Utica Mack. Numerous businesses kindly offer to be collection points.

The finish line is in sight. Make a difference in a child's life this holiday season by sending in a donation today.

___

(c)2017 Observer-Dispatch, Utica, N.Y.

Visit Observer-Dispatch, Utica, N.Y. at www.uticaod.com

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