Members of the Dorothy Gudger family, together with representatives of County Bank Long Neck, Carmen Windsor and Pam Shockley, presented the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company Dec. 5 with the inaugural contribution to the premier Nana's Kids Campaign, named in memory of Dorothy “Dottie” Gudger, affectionately known in the community as “Nana,” who passed away last year. The newly named campaign continues the tradition of the annual toy drive which the IRVFC conducts each year in the Oak Orchard, Riverdale and Long Neck communities.
Donations valued at $4,800 as well as a check to the IRVFC in the amount of $7,150 brought a combined donation of checks, toys and clothing of approximately $11,950.
Carol Taylor, daughter of Dorothy Gudger, addressed the gathering. In part of her speech, she described the connection of community giving: "For as long as I can remember, my mother would purchase toys and clothes all year long in support of the needy kids drive. When the kids went back to school, my mother would purchase school supplies and take them to Long Neck Elementary. It seems so fitting that so many organizations that my mom supported or lived near and cared about have come together to help honor her memory.
"After my mother left us last year, my children and my nieces brought all my mom’s donations to County Bank for her. It was then that we dreamed of this day, officially changing the name of Nana’s Kids Campaign. When I approached Patrick Miller [of IRVFC] a couple months ago with the idea, I was so excited that he thought this was something we could bring in the local community to collaborate on. So I thank all the local organizations for coming together to support my family and the kids of this community," Taylor said.
Taylor and her sister Teresa Gudger thanked the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company, County Bank, Long Neck Elementary School, Millie and the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Orchard-Riverdale, the Community Church of Oak Orchard, the members of the Nanticoke Indian Association and other corporate and community partners.