Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 21, 2012

Little Jimmie 2012: Christmas arrives early for hundreds of area children

Associated Press

BLUEFIELD — Click here for video

Christmas has arrived early for hundreds of children across the region.

The 2012 Little Jimmie Party proceeded as planned Friday — despite a winter storm that is bearing down on the region.

The Daily Telegraph has sponsored the Community Christmas Tree campaign since 1917. The campaign is also known as the Little Jimmie program, a reference to an iconic drawing that has accompanied the campaign kickoff since its early days.

As in year’s past, children registered for the program received a red bag filled with two toys — selected especially for each individual child — food, treats, a book, toboggan, a pair of gloves, toothbrushes and toothpaste and other goodies.

Parents and children were waiting by at least 10 a.m. at the Bluefield City Auditorium to see Santa and take home bags containing a variety of toys ranging from footballs to Easy Bake ovens to baby dolls and skateboards.

Don Rice, bag alignment coordinator for the program, said the community had responded well to the overwhelming need in the area.

“This is the most children we’ve had in quite a while,” Rice said. “We had plenty of help getting ready for today from the Beaver football team and our regular volunteers. We had five loads of bags brought in on a trailer yesterday. Everything has gone smoothly. The gift bags are overflowing. Generous donations from the community allowed us to provide even more for the kids this year. It has all gone very well.”

Dylan, 9, and his sister Madison, 1, of Bluewell were eager to delve into their bags. Dylan’s eyes grew wide when he saw the contents of his bag.

“He got a lot of the stuff he wanted this year,” Dylan’s mother said. “She wanted a dish set and play set, and she already loves her doll.”

Justin, 10, of Glenwood was eager to show his new wrestling playset to his friends.

“I love my wrestling stuff,” Justin said. “Rey Mysterio is my favorite and I got him this year. I’m going to play with this a lot.”

Readers of the Daily Telegraph helped to make this year’s party a reality by exceeding the campaign goal of $30,000. As of Friday, this year’s campaign total-to-date was $36,170.00