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The Villages

Car clubs rally together to help Sumter sheriff’s office spread Christmas cheer

It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas at the Sumter County Sherriff’s Annex in The Villages.

On Tuesday morning, three Villages clubs showed up with donation checks and toys. Many Villagers belong to the Mustang Club, the Vintage Car Club and the Yesteryear Kart Club, so they decided to join forces and make their donations all on the same day.

Members of the Mustang Club pose with members of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, from left, Dep. Richard Bennet, Master Sgt. John Farfaglia and Dep. Jimmy Little.

Daryl Wane, vice-president of the Yesteryear Kart Club, started a donation program for the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office’s Kid’s, Cops & Christmas program at the Vintage Car Club when he became president. This was the club’s first year and Wane was really impressed with the participation by members.

“Being a retired police officer from Jacksonville, I like the personal touch of working with the sheriff’s office and knowing our help is staying local,” Wane said. “We raised $1,200 and collected toys. I think that is pretty good for being our first year.”

The donations came from members and also from what they collected at the Trunk or Treat celebration in Brownwood.

Mustang Club members Penny and Carl Hoagland stand in front of their 2008 Mustang. To add to the Christmas spirit, Carl has dressed as Santa for the past three years.

Joe Singleton is the president of the Mustang Club and the incoming secretary of the Yesteryear Kart Club. He spoke on behalf of all Mustang Club members who showed up with lots of toys.

“We are all so blessed to be here and to be able to give back,” Singleton said, adding that the club also donates toys for another Sumter County sheriff’s program that puts together presents and food for a Christmas dinner to be given to needy families.

Tony Costa and June Fuller, representing Yesteryear Kart Club, weren’t sure how many toys they donated this year. They held a fundraiser during a vendor night at Lake Sumter Landing.

“That night alone, we had five or six big bags of toys go to the sheriff’s office. Today we brought more,” said Fuller, outgoing secretary of the club.

In addition to the toys, the Yesteryear Kart club presented a check for $1,500. Both Costa and Fuller said their club believes it’s a good cause and they love the idea of helping out families.

“Theresa Cooper does a great job,” said Costa, referring to the outreach coordinator for the sheriff’s office. “We support this fund as best we can.”

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