Arctic League opens 'Big Book' to start Christmas fundraising efforts
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- The Arctic League has officially opened its "Big Book", meaning they've started their Christmas fundraising campaign. The non-profit raises money every year to help buy Christmas presents for children in need in Chemung County. This year, officials with the Arctic League say its goal is $125,000 as they support nearly 3,000 children.
"Our goal is up $5,000 dollars from last year and it's driven by the increased cost of toys," Arctic League board of directors president, Michael S. Smith. "Obviously we look very hard for the best buys, but we also look for very good quality toys. So there is an increased cost associated with that and it shows up in our fundraising goal."
Every year, once the fundraiser meets the targeted goal, the big book is closed until next year when the process begins all over again.
"We really watch this very carefully to make sure we're using the community's money in the very best possible way," said Smith. "I think that the community has appreciated that and certainly has responded to us in these past few years that we've been able to close early."
The first person selected to sign the big book this year is newly elected Chemung County Sheriff, Bill Schrom. It's also tradition for there to be a new bell ringer selected by the Arctic League to help kick off their efforts. This year Lylie Colunio was chosen as the new bell ringer and her birthday is actually on Christmas Day.
"It's exciting because I get to celebrate my birthday and also celebrate others that are in need," said Colunio.