Dave Rogers

For The Record

 

Nelda Stark’s childhood home will be the location for the Dec. 6 Toy Coffee, the 62nd annual fundraiser hosted by the Service League of Orange.

The timber heiress, who oversaw the growth of a foundation named after she and her husband, H.J. Lutcher Stark, and the creation of the Lutcher Theater and Stark Museum, grew up as Nelda Childers at 602 W. Orange Ave.

“I think it’s going to be very interesting,” says Patsy Kemp, event chairman. “Most people consider that as part of the Stark Foundation but it was her family’s home before Nelda met the Starks.

“Her father worked at the sawmill and the floors are from those times.”

The home is currently owned by Junior and Leslie Leger.

It will be open for the Toy Coffee from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6.

As always, admission is a new unwrapped toy, or a donation check made out to the Salvation Army, to be passed along to help the Salvation Army with its Christmas celebration for children.

“Let your heart be your guide,” Kemp said about the donations.

“Last year, we took in 544 toys plus $4,000 in donations. Our goal this year is to do better. Last year, the weather was miserable and yet a lot of citizens of Orange County came out and made a lot of lives better for Christmas.”

In addition to the annual Toy Coffee, the Service League is running a Christmas market at the old Baptist Hospital-Orange gift shop from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday through December.

Besides the Salvation Army, Service League members volunteer with CASA and host a bingo program at area nursing homes called “Elder Fun.” Members working together with the Stark Museum put together a fine arts program they take to elementary schools.

“Our members have already done more than 2,000 service hours since the summer,” Kemp says.

Every three years they host the Service League of Orange Follies, usually at the Lutcher Theater. The next is set for 2020.

Monies raised fund special health programs, scholarships, car seats for newborns and grants to support community service organizations. Last year, Service League awarded $16,000 in grants to 14 non-profit organizations.