Annual Toy Drive Honors Memory Of Special Little Girl
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill This is the fifth year Tracy and Joseph Benjamin, of Kingston, in memory of their beloved 4-year-old daughter, will hold “Maddy’s Gift” toy drive. Madison Benjamin passed from a devastating muscle disease called Nemaline Myopathy, a congenital, rare genetic disorder. Last year, “Maddy’s Gift” collected 300 presents. The family is hoping that this year’s drive will surpass their expectations. Tracy Benjamin said two weeks before Christmas, on Dec. 12, 2013, she had passed away from complications. Instead of returning all of Maddie’s Christmas presents, the family decided to donate them to Geisinger’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, where Maddy spent most of her days. “Each year Maddy was with us on this earth, she spent Christmas in that hospital and the staff had always given her gifts and were so wonderful to Maddy and her family,” they wrote. “In 2014, I decided I wanted to try to collect gifts to donate to the hospital in memory of our daughter. It was a success, so we had given it a name, “Maddy’s Gift” and decided this is something we will do every year in honor of our daughter. Whether we get tons of gifts or a few gifts, I will still continue doing this every year.” Tracy Benjamin said “From now until Sunday, Dec. 9, we will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for children of any ages. Thank you for everyone’s help. Maddy would be so happy to see all of us helping these kids. She was such a great kid, always putting smiles on everyone’s faces.” If you would like to donate, you can drop off the gifts at the Kingston/Forty Fort fire station on Wyoming Avenue, Kingston; Trucksville Methodist Church on Knob Hill Road; Triangle Pharmacy, 83 S. Main St., Mountain Top or you can contact Tracy at 570-709-7365 and arrange a drop off. Monetary donations are also being collected. Contact Tracy at the above number. Swoyersville hosts tree, Menorah lighting Swoyersville Borough Mayor Christopher Concert invites the public to join him in lighting the Menorah and the Christmas tree at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Swoyersville Borough Building. Hot chocolate will be served. Holiday celebration A holiday celebration weekend will be held to benefit Blue Chip Rescue, hosted by Edward’s Garden Center, 525 River St., Forty Fort. Children can have pictures taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a live reindeer from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Pets and children can be photographed with Santa and Mrs. Claus from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus are $10. On both days, there will be a Santa’s Village, Face Painting by Jessica, and representatives from Blue Chip Animal Rescue will be available to meet the public. Blue Chip welcomes donations of paper products and pet food. Toyland bingo Swoyersville Hose Company No. 2, 299 Slocum St., Swoyersville, will sponsor its popular “Toyland Bingo” on Sunday, Dec. 20. Doors open at 11 a.m. Bingo starts at 1 p.m. Admission is $15. Kingston Historical Society holiday dinner The Kingston Historical Society’s annual Christmas dinner for members, guests and friends is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at Costello’s Restaurant, Gateway Shopping Center, Edwardsville. Make reservations for the Dutch-treat event by calling 570-239-5040 on or before Nov. 30. Since the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays coincide with the meeting dates, the November and December meetings are cancelled. Meetings will resume in January. Barbara Pitcavage writes about the West Side. Contact her at email@example.com.