Old Newsboys Day marks the 75th anniversary of fundraising for The Salvation Army; unofficial total of over $ 16,000 by the end of the day with more expected to elapse | Donations to the community

WATERTOWN – Old Newsboys Day, an annual event in the city and some surrounding communities, continued on Friday, with volunteers in force to mark the event’s 75th year.

In keeping with tradition, the downstairs restroom of the Watertown Daily Times at 260 Washington St. has become the command center of the effort to raise the funds needed for the Salvation Army.

Volunteers new and old took to the streets early Friday morning and continued into the late afternoon, selling issues of the Watertown Daily Times to community members for donations ranging from just over $ 2 $ the price of a newspaper at $ 100 or more.

“I look forward to it every year,” said David L. Bonney, Old Newsboys Day volunteer coordinator. “The Salvation Army is such a wonderful charity and the generosity of the people of the north of the country is once again exceptional. “

Mr. Bonney said this was the Salvation Army’s second fundraising campaign after its Red Kettle program. In 1947, the first Old Newsboys Day in the area, volunteers, after selling 1,395 newspapers, brought in $ 938. Last year, the event grossed $ 21,645. By the end of the day on Friday, the unofficial total stood at $ 16,600, with some sellers not yet returning and adding to the number. Donations and funds are also expected to pour in over the next few days, and Mr Bonney said he was cautiously optimistic the total could end up at least $ 20,000 in the end.

The Johnson Newspaper Corporation has been involved in this fundraiser since the 1940s. Sponsored by the Watertown Daily Times, participants sell donated copies of the newspaper at prices ranging from the usual cover price to hundreds of dollars, with the profits going. to the local Salvation Army.

The money raised is used to help provide families in need with food, toys and clothing for Christmas, as well as to support some of the organization’s programs and services throughout the year.

“The Salvation Army has been around forever, just like the days of the old newspapers, they just melt and you can’t have one without the other it seems,” said Paul A. Simmons, president. of the Salvation Army. “Every dollar that comes in feeds someone. The number of people we feed in the Salvation Army is scary. We just had about 700 Thanksgiving dinners. If you want to run numbers, if you went to Cracker Barrel $ 15 for a turkey dinner. Fifteen times seven hundred, that’s $ 10,500 in free meals. “

The Old Newsboys effort is made up of two sides, street vendors – people who go to different places to sell newspapers – and employees from places like New York Air Brake, Samaritan Medical Center, schools in the area and the Car Freshener Corporation going around and selling the papers to other employees in their buildings.

The event brought together around 15 industries this year and around 20 street vendors everywhere, including the plaza, general store, Walmart, Salmon Run mall, and more.

As previously reported by The Times, the discovery of Old Newsboys Day came as a pleasant surprise for Captains Dominic and Elizabeth Nicoll of the Watertown Salvation Army. Hailing from Burlington, Vermont, they took up their duties in the local military on July 1, replacing Majors Karen and Dennis Smullen.

“It’s a great fundraiser,” Cpt. Dominic Nicoll said of his first experience with her. “It’s something we’re not really used to, but it’s something that has a big impact there.”

On Friday, many volunteers proudly wore t-shirts commemorating the 75th anniversary of Old Newsboys Day, the t-shirts provided free of charge by Victory Promotions.

As with many local fundraising efforts, volunteers are always needed, as well as more places to sell newspapers, said Bonney. He is in his 45th year as a coordinator and has been assisted over the years by his wife, Janyth “Jann” L. Bonney. As a volunteer coordinator, his duties include counting receipts, distributing newspapers to vendors, and getting drivers to businesses with papers in tow.

“I usually tell people that I am selfish because I can wake up on Christmas morning and have a really good feeling that I have played at least a role in a wonderful charity that will be responsible for placing presents under the tree. and a holiday meal for the less fortunate, ”said Bonney. “That’s why I feel good to come back every year.”

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