Toys for Tots volunteers honored at banquet

By: By Natalie Davis -

Toys for Tots held its 6th Annual Gratitude Banquet at the Lockhart-Taylor Center, with a focal point of giving.

The banquet was held in honor of Doris B. Smith, wife of Harold Smith, owner of Smith Funeral Home. A moment of silence was given in her honor.

Vancine Sturdivant, Anson County Toys for Tots coordinator, gave the welcome and introduction for the event.

Others on the program included, Master of Ceremony Lawrence Gatewood, Pastor Steve Adams, Barbara Thomas, Pastor Bernice Bennett, Richmond County Superior Court Clerk Vickie Daniel, William “Bugga” Sturdivant, Antonio “Stunna” Little, and Pastor Michael McLeod.

The speaker for the banquet was the Rev. Broce Sowell, from Barringer Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Norwood.

Those who were majorly involved in Toys for Tots received awards from Sturdivant and Toys for Tots.

Sturdivant called up employees from Wadesboro Dollar Genral and thanked them for their support.

“I go in there all the time to purchase toiletries, tissue, soap, and things of that nature,” Sturdivant said. “I believe when I first started doing it, they thought I was buying all of this for my house.”

Sturdivant said that two or three months ago, the Dollar General employees said that they would help get the toilet paper, soap and everything.

“That’s God, and that’s what Anson County is about,” Strudivant said.

Daniel, along with William Sturdivant and Little gave out awards to those who played a big part in Toys for Tots.

“Six years, I have been doing this with Vancine, and last year was extra special,” Daniel said.

Daniel said that they held their first Christmas Breakfast, and they gathered food and toys for children.

A lot of elected officials joined with Daniel in this event.

“The purpose of it was to feed people free breakfast, but all we asked them to do was to bring a toy or nonperishable food item to feed people and supply toys,” Daniel said.

Hooks BBQ and Buffet of Cheraw, South Carolina, catered the banquet.

When interviewed by Vancine Sturdivant and asked why was it so important for them to donate to Toys for Tots, Robert Mims said, “As a company, we both have a passion for children and will do whatever is necessary to make sure they have all the tools to implement success.”

Mims stated he always had a nice Christmas, and his dad would always get what he wanted for Christmas.

“As I got older, I always wanted to go back and bless others,” Mims said. “When the Lord makes a way for you, you should bless others.”

Kristen Mims stated she always had a Christmas that was full of things.

“I was my Mom’s only child and my Dad’s youngest and only daughter,” she said. “My Mom was an educator, and I was always taught how important it is to help others. And just because I was blessed to have everything, I also knew how important it is to bless others.”

Willie James Boyce helped deliver toys in the Morven area during the 2017 Toys for Tots Campaign to the less fortunate, with no transportation to come pick their toys up.

“If he could not reach the parents in the afternoon, he would go at 6 a.m. to make sure the kids received their toys,” Vancine Sturdivant said.

When asked why, Boyce stated that as a child he never had a good Christmas.

“I was in and out of foster care,” Boyce said. “I wanted to make sure these kids had a great Christmas.”

By Natalie Davis