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HONESDALE, PA — There was a bicycle parked against one wall, another atop the solicitor’s desk, and stacked boxes of “Big Wheels” flanked by oversized tubes of Crayola crayons on either side of the room. Stuffed toy animals watched the proceedings from atop a field of oversized bags filled with toys and games as the Wayne County Commissioners started their December 1 meeting.
The commissioners’ meeting room was filled with donations collected by Sheriff Mark Steelman’s deputies, who volunteered their time in the parking lots of Honesdale area stores collecting shoppers’ donated gifts for the Wayne County Children’s Christmas Bureau (WCCCB). Representatives of the bureau, which is formed annually by the Honesdale Area Jaycees, were on hand to accept the massive donation.
Had this been a show of recovered stolen goods, the sheriff said, an inventory and value estimate would have been on hand, but in this case Steelman admitted that he had no idea how much all the stuff was worth. Several county employees waited outside in the hall and went into action with hand-trucks afterwards in order to clear enough space to allow the regular agenda.
Commissioner Wendell Kay recalled that the bureau was already a long-established tradition when he began his practice in 1981. “Thank you on behalf of the county and all those you’ve helped,” he said. Parents were asked to sign up for the bureau in October, and the bureau distributes the gifts for children of Wayne County low-income families this week.