From left, Officer Kevin Wilds; Sgt. Scott Vierk; Officer Robert Schreiber; Ed Boyd, a retired Clawson assistant fire chief and president of the Clawson Goodfellows; Police Chief Scott Sarvello; Engel; and Sgt. David Scott pose with the large number of toys donated to the second annual Fill the Cruiser toy drive.

From left, Officer Kevin Wilds; Sgt. Scott Vierk; Officer Robert Schreiber; Ed Boyd, a retired Clawson assistant fire chief and president of the Clawson Goodfellows; Police Chief Scott Sarvello; Engel; and Sgt. David Scott pose with the large number of toys donated to the second annual Fill the Cruiser toy drive.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Fill the Cruiser toy drive exceeds expectations in Clawson

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published December 17, 2019

 Clawson Fire Chief Troy Engel holds an armload of donated toys to transport from the Police Department to the Fire Department in order for Clawson families to have their pick.

Clawson Fire Chief Troy Engel holds an armload of donated toys to transport from the Police Department to the Fire Department in order for Clawson families to have their pick.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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CLAWSON — The second annual Fill the Cruiser toy drive more than tripled the number of donated toys collected last year.

The Clawson Police and Fire departments accomplished this increase through the goodwill of not only Clawson residents, but also local business owners and those who live as far away as Hawaii.

On Dec. 12, members of the departments, as well as the Clawson Goodfellows, loaded up approximately six police vehicles full of new, unwrapped toys. Kenwood Elementary School also donated its annual toy drive to the cause this year, which filled up two vehicles alone.

In addition to the toy drive, the Goodfellows collected hats, scarves and other winter clothing on a dedicated Christmas tree in the lobby of Clawson City Hall, and Kenwood Elementary conducted a food drive.

All of the items collected will benefit families in need who live in Clawson.

“We collected a lot more toys this year. Last year, we filled almost two cars. This year, it’s six cars,” said Sgt. Scott Vierk, who has been with the Clawson Police Department for 17 years and who led the police side of the toy drive. “It’s a very giving town, and there were packages being sent in from as far away as Hawaii from Amazon.”

He said the donations will be set up in the basement of the Clawson Fire Department, and retired firefighters will sort the toys and games into age groups for boys and girls. Clawson families will be invited to select presents for their children from the collection beginning early this week.

“Thank you to everyone who donated to make this a great success,” Vierk said. “It’s bigger than we ever thought it was going to be.”

Clawson Police Chief Scott Sarvello said he was impressed with the community response to the drive, and that it felt good to help those in need. He said he was especially impressed with the donations of board games and family games, which can be used to bring the whole family closer.

“It’s about the kids and making sure they have a good Christmas,” Sarvello said. “We’re doing our little part in trying to make that happen. There’s a lot of people that get involved, a lot of people that help out.”

Ed Boyd, a retired Clawson assistant fire chief and president of the Clawson Goodfellows, said the Fire Department and the Goodfellows have conducted an annual toy drive for a long time, and he was glad the Police Department recently became involved.

“Some years, we get as many as 100-120 families that need help. Other years, like this year, you may get a couple dozen,” Boyd said. “Any excess toys we donate to Toys for Tots, the Judson Center and other local agencies.”

He said that annually the best response the Goodfellows receive from the community comes during a fill-the-boot drive on the first Saturday of December. Proceeds from the sale go toward gift cards from local retailers, such as Kohl’s, Target, Meijer and Kroger, to help Clawson families with food and clothing needs.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s Christmas or the Fourth of July,” Boyd said. “If they contact us and they’re a Clawson resident, we’ll be glad to help.”

For more information, call (248) 407-5522 or email clawsongoodfellows@gmail.com.

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