After a plea concerning fundraising shortcomings for the 2019 Jimmy Moore Christmas Party was sent out by organizer Nancy Mangilo Bittner, local businessman Ron Irwin answered the call, launching a fundraiser that began Friday and will run through Dec. 9.

Irwin hopes others will take similar action as well.

“We will be running a fundraiser, beginning Black Friday, to support the Jimmy Moore Christmas Party,” Irwin posted to the State Side Laundromat Facebook page on Wednesday in sharing a Tribune story about the party. “Please share the word.”

Proceeds from 12 of the laundromat’s machines will go toward the annual event to provide toys and other gifts to children in the Meadville area who need them, said Irwin, who owns the business along with several family members. That donation will be matched by Irwin Properties LLC, another family firm, and ANI Rentals LLC, a company owned by one of his daughters.

The family did something similar last year, Irwin said.

The machines involved have been marked with Santa Claus decorations.

“Probably 50 years ago, my dad was laid off and we did the Jimmy Moore Party,” Irwin recalled Friday.

Irwin’s wife, Kim, also had fond memories of attending the party as a child, he said. “She still remembers one year she got a Barbie doll.”

A donation box is also available for those who don’t have laundry to clean, Irwin said. Checks should be made payable to the Jimmy Moore Fund.

“What I always ask people is,” Moore said, “if you can help a child simply by doing your laundry, would you?”

Reservations for children who wish to participate in the Jimmy Moore Christmas Party remain open through Sunday, with room for up to 260 and about 200 signed up through Tuesday, according to Mangilo Bittner. To register or for more information, call 336-8989. Those interested in donating funds to help organizers buy gifts for the children can also do so by making checks payable to Jimmy Moore Fund and mailing them to event Chairperson Nancy Mangilo Bittner, 379 Cole Drive, Meadville, PA 16335. Organizers will also accept scarves, gloves, hats, socks and cookies to give to the children.

The party begins at 11 a.m. Dec. 14 at St. Brigid Roman Catholic Church’s Social Hall, 383 Arch St. 

Mike Crowley can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at mcrowley@meadvilletribune.com.

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