PAWTUCKET â€” While stores may be festively decorated and Christmas music is playing 24/7 on the radio, the approaching holiday season can often be more stressful than enjoyable for anyone struggling to make ends meet.
That's why The Times is once again supporting its annual â€śMerry Christmas Fund,â€ť which benefits The Salvation Army of Pawtucket. As the communityâ€™s daily newspaper, The Times is part of the fabric of the Blackstone Valley, and its management team and staff believe in the importance of trying to reach out to help local residents in need enjoy a brighter holiday season.
The Times began the â€śMerry Christmas Fundâ€ť back in 1982, in partnership with The Salvation Army, located just around the corner on High Street. While the activities have changed over the years, the spirit is the sameâ€”encouraging individuals, businesses and other organizations in the community to donate whatever amount they can to aide those less fortunate.
Captains Juan and Glenys Urbaez of the Pawtucket Corps know firsthand the great economic need that exists in Pawtucket, Central Falls, and the surrounding communities. They say they are grateful for any amount of assistance that is provided.
As it has for 31 years, The Times invites donors to make a contribution in memory of a friend or loved one, and these will be acknowledged in a running tally that is published continually throughout the days leading up to Christmas. When the fundraiser is completed, a check will be presented to The Salvation Army of Pawtucket to use for purchases of clothing, toys and holiday food baskets.
Itâ€™s easy. Just send a check or money order made payable to The Times Merry Christmas Fund, P.O. Box 307, Pawtucket, RI 02862. Or, stop into The Times office at 23 Exchange St., Pawtucket, where a collection box is available.
Over the past three decades, The Times has raised almost $750,000 through donations and fundraising activities held throughout the season. The always popular â€śPhotos with Santa,â€ť featuring Santa to the Stars Brady White, returns again this year, with proceeds going to the fund. This event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 23, from noon to 2 p.m. at Apex, 100 Main St., Pawtucket.
Also, The Times is sponsoring the â€śJingle Mingle,â€ť an evening of music, dining and dancing, on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the LeFoyer/The Fountain Street Grille, 151 Fountain St., Pawtucket. This is a newer holiday tradition designed to raise proceeds for the Merry Christmas Fund.
Music will be provided by Upscale Music Entertainment, and the $20 ticket price includes a buffet. A cash bar will be available, and tables can be reserved, making this an ideal event for a small office party or holiday get-together among friends.
The deadline to purchase tickets is Dec. 2 (no tickets will be sold at the door). Tickets are available in The Fountain Street Grille at LeFoyer, 151 Fountain St., or at The Times office, 23 Exchange St., Pawtucket.
MERRY CHRISTMAS FUND CONTRIBUTIONS:
â€˘ From David M. Borek: $100
â€˘ Andyâ€™s Exchange Street CafĂ©: $50, Merry Christmas
â€˘ From Steven R. Parent: $50, in Memory of Assistant Pawtucket RI Fire Chief, Richard J. Renzi
â€˘ Li Lai Wok, $100, 655 Central Ave., Pawtucket
â€˘ In Loving Memory of Our Grandparents: $20 Thomas & Louise Holden, Love Always, Michael & Ryan Pirtle
â€˘ In Memory of Bill Pawlitschek: $25