Empty Stocking is slowly filling with gifts

Christmas season comes early for The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund, and the elves are busy working to get toys packed for the 831 Harford County children who will receive gifts of toys this holiday season.

Time is running short, and the shelves in Santa's workshop are empty, especially for girls and boys, ages 11 to 13. Anything people can do to help fill their stockings will be appreciated, committee members said.

The Empty Stocking Fund's all-volunteer committee offers special thanks to the Wagner Family for the wonderful gifts of toys and bikes that were delivered to Santa's workshop this week. Thanks also to others who have donated year after year.

Recent generous donations were also received from Sally and Ralph Puckett, $500; Marlene and Harry Parks Jr., $100; James and Virginia Stevenson, $100; Charles J. Karl, in memory of Patty L. Karl, $200; Marge and Dick Herd, $100; Martin Connors, $100; Sally Clark Edler, $200; Robert and Susan Mengel, $100; and Mabel S. Kroh, $100. A number of anonymous donations also have been received.

The Empty Stocking Fund's fundraising goal this year is $80,000. As of Wednesday, donations totaling $35,090 had been received. Donations of new, unwrapped toys are also welcome and can be dropped off at any of the many participating locations listed below.

Anyone who would like to help brighten the holidays for the 364 Harford County families who will be helped this Christmas season, can send a check, for any amount, to The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 189, Bel Air, Md., 21014.

Benefit events

The Susquehanna Hose Company House 1 at 451 N. Juniata St. in Havre de Grace will host a toy drive Saturday, Dec. 1, from noon to 4 p.m., to benefit the Empty Stocking Fund.

Harford Community College will celebrate the holidays with the production "Babes In Toyland," which will be held in the Chesapeake Theater. Performances will be Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. Patrons are asked to donate a new unwrapped toy to each performance to benefit The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund. For ticket information, call 443-412-2211.

The Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra will present the Duke Ellington arrangement of "The Nutcracker" on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bel Air High School auditorium. Patrons are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit the Empty Stocking Fund. For more information visit http://www.ssorchestra.org.

The Harford Ballet Company will present "The Nutcracker" at Aberdeen High School at 251 Paradise Road in Aberdeen on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. and also at 6 p.m. Patrons are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to this presentation.

Toy drop off locations

Toys may be dropped off at Anytime Fitness Center, 5 Bel Air S. Parkway, in The Festival at Bel Air; The Arena Club, 2304 Churchville Road, Churchville; Bank of America, 983 Beards Hill Road, Beards Hill Shopping Center; BB&T; Bank, all local branches; Cook Motor Cars Ltd., 1136 S. Philadelphia Blvd., Aberdeen; Cook Volkswagen LLC, 2110 Belair Road, Fallston; DEES Fluid Power, 1809 Fashion Court, Joppa; Dollar General Store 7530, Klein's Shopping Center, 1606 Dooley Road, Whiteford; Elite Spine and Wellness, 2107 Laurel Bush Road, Emmorton Professional Building, Bel Air; Enotria Restaurant and Grill, 2 Newport Drive, Forest Hill; Family Generation Hair Care, 1301 E. Churchville Road; FCCAU, Brass Mill Road, Riverside Business Park, Belcamp.

Other locations include Freedom Federal Credit Union, all five branches; Jordan Thomas Salon and Spa, 16-B Bel Air South Parkway, Bel Air; Kelly's Hair Design, 604 Moores Mill Road, Bel Air; Long and Foster Realtors, Route 40, Riverside-Belcamp; M & T Bank, 6960 Delta Road, Delta: Madonna Country Market, 4064 Norrisville Road, Jarrettsville; NBRS Bank, 3535 Conowingo Road, Street; NVS Hair Salon, 312 N. Main St., Bel Air; Optimal Spine, 998 Hospitality Way, Aberdeen; PayDay Payroll Service, 728 Rock Spring Road, Bel Air; Pat's Pizzeria, 1961 Pulaski Highway, Edgewood; Pat's Pizza, 120 Revolution St., Havre de Grace; Pat's Pizzeria, Del Plaza, 804 Conowingo Road, Bel Air; Rapid Refill, 15 Churchville Road, Bel Air and Susquehanna Bank, 1525 Rock Spring Road, Forest Hill; Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, 2012 S. Tollgate Route, Suite 212, Bel Air.

The Aberdeen, Edgewood, Fallston, Jarrettsville and Joppa branches of the Harford County Public Library, along with the library's administrative offices in Belcamp, also will serve as drop off sites. Unwrapped new toys and games can be brought to these locations through Monday, Dec. 3.

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