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Chief: Toy & Joy raises over $20k

32nd annual auction pays for toys, food to be distributed to local families in need

Jay Tappan.This year's Columbia River Fire & Rescue Merchant's Toy & Joy Auction raised more than $20,000 at the auction alone, along with additional donations to help fund the toy and food distribution program in the St. Helens and Rainier areas, according to CRF&R Chief Jay Tappan.

Tappan said the Dec. 6 benefit auction, the theme of which was “Polar Express,” was “again a very successful event” and brought in “much-needed funds” for the program.

Toy & Joy and CRF&R volunteer firefighters work with the Holiday Hope Program and the St. Helens Kiwanis Club to distribute toys and food baskets to families throughout CRF&R's service district, which stretches from Rainier to Warren.

Tappan estimated that the Toy & Joy and Holiday Hope programs will distribute toys and food to approximately 500 families, more than 1,500 people and almost 1,000 children in total. Distributions will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at the Columbia County Fairgrounds pavilion, and at the Rainier Fire Station on Saturday, Dec. 20, at noon.

Among the sponsors of this year's Toy & Joy were the Columbia River Foursquare Church, Dutch Bros. Coffee and Burgerville.

This year's auction marked the 32nd annual Toy & Joy in the area.

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