Women employees at all the Prime dealerships along U.S. Route 1 in Saco and Scarborough played a major part recently in making the holidays a lot brighter for families in southern Maine.
They collected several carloads of new toys, and accepted almost $2000 in cash donations from generous customers, co-workers, neighbors and friends. All of the Prime dealerships ran service specials to encourage participation, and all anyone had to do was make a cash donation or make the gift of a new, unwrapped toy.
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve operates the Toys For Tots Foundation, and describes its goal as delivering “a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.” Since the program first began in 1947, the United States Marines have distributed more than 400 million toys to more than 188 million needy children. More information about this widely respected charity is available at www.toysfortots.org.
According to Sarah Wormwood, a Prime employee who spent many hours organizing the project, the company collected four times as many cash donations as it did the previous year.
“It was an amazing privilege to work on such a rewarding project,” Wormwood said. “I owe so much gratitude to my fellow employees, and the customers of Prime for giving back. I know we put smiles on a lot of children’s faces, and that’s a great feeling.”
Once Wormwood and her fellow employees collected all the toys, they packed them into several new cars and participated in Saco’s “Parade of Lights,” an event organized by Saco Spirit (www.SacoSpirit.com) that promotes shopping locally to support Maine merchants.
Perhaps the biggest moment of the evening took place when Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived, straight from the North Pole, in the Prime Motor Group classic fire truck, a 1964 Ford that owner Ira Rosenberg bought from the Owls Head Transportation Museum. As you can imagine, this was a big hit with all the children who lined Main Street and the rest of the parade route.
Kathy Prior, a Prime employee who worked with Wormwood on the Toys For Tots promotion, said that promoting local businesses was a nice add-on to the toys drive.
“Ira and his wife Judy care so much about kids, and about supporting local businesses. This was a lot of fun, but it also felt good for all of us to give back to the community in a meaningful way,” Prior said.