Domingo Rosario doesn’t mind dancing a bit for some money. After all, it’s going to a good cause.
For the second year, the Port Chester Police Auxiliary is raising money and collecting toys to give gifts to local children. They mostly stand outside during November and December collecting, and they’ve noticed a few regular donors.
“This one woman makes me dance,” said Rosario, the auxiliary’s recording secretary. “She stops by, turns up the radio in her car and has me dance a bit before donating a dollar. Sometimes it’s a five or even a 10. I don’t mind. It’s fun.”
The Port Chest Police Auxiliary Association Toy Drive was started last year by Melissa Salmon, president of the unit.
“Being born and raised in the town, while growing up I saw a lot of families struggling to make ends meet, especially around the holidays,” she said. “So I wanted to do something to help out those families. Last year it was really successful, so this year we wanted to do it again.”
Last year, the auxiliary collected toys and money, which they used to buy toys they then donated. They donated about 600 toys last year to the Carver Center. This year, the organization expanded and will donate toys to the Don Bosco Youth Center as well.
The auxiliary already made their donation to the Carver Center for the season, but they’re still collecting money and unwrapped toys for kids from ages 18 months to 11 years old. They’ll be out collecting until Jan. 4, and anyone interested in making a donation is asked to email PCadp1940@aol.com.
On Sunday, Salmon, Rosario and John Touri, assistant director of the unit, were out in the Kohl’s parking lot collecting donations, along with two of Rosario’s nieces.
Salmon said they try to give kids things they’ll want, and the same goes for teens. Salmon said they try to give teens gift cards to places they go, whether it’s an eating establishment or a store.
Touri said the donations that have come in this year so far are about half of what they were last year, with a lot more people giving one dollar bills and change while they’re out collecting opposing to last year, when they received larger bills more frequently.
“Whatever someone wants to give, because they’re giving it from the heart,” he said. “We do this because we want to do it. There’s a lot of walks of life in town, and we know people are struggling. We can help, even if just a little.”
Touri said the organization isn’t worried about fewer donations this year, as they’re aware that many are hurting financially and there are a lot of other organizations raising money for good causes this time of year. He said the group is still completely behind Salmon’s effort.
“It’s her baby,” Touri said.
Salmon didn’t totally agree.
“Actually,” she said, “it’s my elf.”