POYNETTE (WKOW)-- Time is running out to help make Christmas a little brighter for area children. The last day to donate to toys for tots is December 10th. Organizers hope to collect 60-thousand toys.
One man from Poynette has made it his mission to help reach that goal. Buddy Lee has volunteered countless hours over the years. We recognize Buddy Lee as December Jefferson Award recipient.
"I do this for the main reason because of the kids," said Buddy.
Buddy Lee has Christmas on his mind just about year-round.
Today, Buddy along with his helpers, including his wife Mary, are sorting raffle prizes.
19 years ago, Buddy started a Toys for Tots show to collect toys and raise money.
"And I will continue to do it as long as I possibly can," said Buddy.
Local bands volunteer their time.
"It's signed by Mr. Bielema the coach," said Buddy.
Local businesses donate prizes for raffles.
"Diamond earrings, diamond necklaces from different jewelry stores in town," said Buddy. "It's just phenomenal how things are things are happening."
All so people can help make the holiday brighter for some local children.
"It's just heart warming," said Buddy. "I feel like Jerry Lewis on the Labor Day telethon. When this is all over with you just sit down and say what a day."
As Buddy and Mary pick up toy collections around town, he sees a smile in every toy. Something he saw for the first time at last year's Toys for Tots distribution.
"And the smiles on these people when they leave they know that their children will have a present under the tree and that just makes me feel great," said Buddy.
Buddy knows what it's like to not have a present Christmas morning.
"I was one of the misfortunate children growing up that woke up on Christmas morning quite a few times and went out into the living room and nothing was under the three," said Buddy. "It sticks with you."
"He's a really special guy," said SSgt. Justin Bradley.
Staff Sgt. Justin Bradley says Buddy Lee's efforts has definitely made a big impact over the years.
"He's a guy who's dedicated a lot of his own time and assets," said SSgt. Justin Bradley.
"Toys for Tots would not run if we did not have folks such as Buddy Lee to dedicate their time and energy," said SSgt. Justin Bradley.
And when I asked Buddy why people should donate to Toys for Tots he said it comes from within.
"I feel people should do it because their heart tells them to," said Buddy. "It makes you feel so good to know that somebody is going to get a toy this year that wouldn't normally have one."
You can help Buddy's dream become a reality by attending the toys for tots show Sunday, December 12.
It's your last chance to donate. The event is at the VFW 7591 on Cottage Grove Road in Madison. The opening ceremony is at noon. Bands play until 8:30. Just bring a new unwrapped toy.