The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

November 16, 2012

Toy collection will honor tot killed in zoo accident

JOHNSTOWN — Area charity groups are collecting toy vehicles in honor of a toddler killed in a tragic accident earlier this month at the Pittsburgh zoo.

The Trucks for Maddox collection will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 24 at The Galleria in Richland Township. Items can be dropped off in the lower level parking lot nearest the Sears entrance or inside near the information booth and Boscov’s.

Residents are invited to bring new toy trucks, cars and tractors to be distributed to needy children during the holiday season.

The family of Maddox Derkosh had requested the toys in lieu of flowers to honor the 2-year-old, who loved to play with trucks. The collection continues at the William Slater II Funeral Home in Pittsburgh.  

The local effort is being coordinated by volunteers from Bedford Speedway, Thunder Valley Raceway, Cruisin’ for Courtney Charities and Hea­ther’s Haven, a camp for children battling cancer.

Wendy Miller will greet donors and discuss her soon-to-be-released book, “Heavens Scent, The Heather Miller Story.” Preorders will be accepted and proceeds will benefit the Make-a-Wish foundation in honor of Maddox Derkosh, Heather’s Haven, the Brian Morden Foundation and the oncology unit at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The book explores the Bedford County family’s story of heartbreak and hope following the diagnosis of cancer in their 10-year-old daughter, who died in 2010.

Local racing stars with the Bedford Speedway and Thunder Valley Raceway also will be on hand to help with the collection and greet participants.

Donors can register to win  gift cards and door prizes provided by area businesses.

The toys will be transported to Pittsburgh by Thunder Valley Raceway point champion Jim Sayler of Meyersdale and his race team.

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