Tommy comes through again

Annual shopping spree fund helps to clothe hundreds
By: Susan Belknap The Press Tribune
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Christmas came a bit early this year for about 330 Roseville children. The annual Tommy Apostolos Fund holiday shopping spree was held this past weekend at Kohl’s in Roseville where the children were able to select about $125 worth of clothing thanks to the Tommy Fund. The shopping spree was established in 1988 for longtime Roseville resident Tommy Apostolos, who was known for his support of the youth in the Roseville community. Money for the Tommy Fund is received from private donations and annual fundraising. More than 550 adult volunteers were on hand to assist the children ages 5-13 who were recommended by their teachers in the local school districts as those in need. According to Bob Smith, Tommy Fund volunteer, each child who showed up at Kohl’s was allotted about $125 to spend on clothing and/or shoes with the help of an assigned volunteer. But some children received clothing items even before the store opened at 5:30 a.m. “As the kids stood in line with their parents, I looked for those who weren’t wearing a coat,” Smith said. “Then with the help of the Roseville Fire Department volunteers who were there we took the kids inside and found them a coat to wear.” Roseville City Councilwoman and Tommy volunteer Carol Garcia said more than 100 coats had been donated to the cause and were dry cleaned by Bud’s Cleaners before being on the rack for the children’s selection. Volunteer Francis Anfuso and wife Suzie were on hand to pass out the complimentary breakfast that the children received as well. “People are really struggling this year,” said Francis, who is the pastor of The Rock of Roseville church. Aiding the Anfusos with breakfast was Rita Brohman, Tommy Fund steering committee member. Brohman said the Tommy committee meets once each month during the year in order to make sure everything is in place for the shopping days. “This is really the heart of the city,” Brohman said. “We are so lucky to have a city that cares like this. Roseville is truly a full service city.” That feeling of caring was evident down each Kohl’s aisle as volunteers like Shelia Gibson of Roseville, and Lee No of Sacramento helped the children they were partnered with find what they needed. “I had always heard about the Tommy Fund and always wanted to do it. So this year I’m here,” Gibson said. Even the Kohl’s employees got into the act volunteering their time before their regular work shifts. Kohl’s store manager Valerie Donnelly said about 60 employees, including 25 from the Roseville store were on hand to help out at Saturday’s event. “Through our A Team program when five Kohl’s associates donate at least three hours of time, Kohl’s gives $500 to that nonprofit,” Donnelly said.