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'Tots' drive kicks off in community

by CAROLINE LOBSINGER
Staff Writer | November 25, 2022 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — What would you do if you won a million dollars?

Buy a new car? A house? Maybe splurge on a trip to somewhere that you've always dreamed of visiting?

That's what a lot of people would do, but best friends MacQueen and Marlisa Mercer decided to go a different route when they won the million-dollar Lotto Max prize in their hometown of Orillia, in Ontario, Canada.

The pair bought the ticket at a local grocery store in June and learned of their win when they scanned the ticket a few weeks later while grocery shopping. By the time they got their winnings in August, the pair decided to use the money to do good, according to a OrilliaMatteers.com, a local news website.

First they donated to Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, the Orillia SPCA, and the Farley Foundation, an Ontario-based charity that helps those in need take care of their pets.

In addition, they donated to the Salvation Army, the Royal Canadian Legion poppy campaign, a hospice facility, a no-kill animal shelter and a local food center.

Chris Peacock told the news website that the donation was especially helpful with the holidays approaching, inflation, and the rising costs of food.

“They are completely focused on how can they help to make this community a better place through this win,” he told the website. “Not many people win a million bucks and have the core goal of spending it on others and improving this community.”

The pair told the website that being able to help others means a great deal to them.

“It makes us feel great that we are able to do this,” MacQueen told the website.

And just like the Canadian besties, the Sandpoint Lions Club is determined to help others. Each year, Lions members, local businesses, and the community partner to raise funds as part of the annual Toys for Tots drive.

The goal for this year’s Toys for Tots campaign is $50,000 — the same as it has been in past years. The Lions make the most of the money by bargain shopping, and with the assistance of generous local businesses.

"We're seeing a need more than ever for Toys for Tots," Rader said. "We'll be shopping harder and smarter than ever to make sure everyone in the community has a very special Christmas."

Kicking off the donation drive is the Hutter family, who donated $1,000 to Toys for Tots.

If you know someone, or need help yourself, the Lions are taking applications for the Toys for Tots program. Applications are available at Bonner Community Food Bank and on the door of the Lions Den.

The club is accepting Toys for Tots applications until December 17. Applications are available on our website and printed copies are available on the door of the Lions Club, 609 S. Ella

Donations for Toys for Tots can be dropped off at the front desk at the Bonner County Daily Bee, 310 Church St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also drop off donations at Columbia Bank’s Sandpoint branch, 414 Church St., or at the Ponderay branch, 300 Bonner Mall Way; and at the Ponderay Starbucks.

Donations may be mailed to the Sandpoint Lions Club, Box 414, Sandpoint, ID 83864.

Donations made by check are preferred. Be sure to include a note with your check indicating that it is a Toys for Tots donation. If you wish to make an anonymous donation, please include a note.

If the donation is being made in someone’s name, be sure to also include a note.

Information: Sandpoint Lions Club, 208-263-4118

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