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BREA : Weekend Candy Drive to Benefit the Retarded

October 15, 1994|MIMI KO

Wearing yellow vests with red letters urging, "Help Retarded Children," a group of senior citizens began handing out candy Friday in an effort to raise money for mentally disabled youths.

The members of St. Angela Merici Knights of Columbus passed out Tootsie Rolls to shoppers all day in front of the Vons supermarket on Brea Boulevard and the Thrifty drug store and Albertson's supermarket on Associated Road. The seventh annual Tootsie Rolls for Retarded Children campaign will continue until Sunday evening.

The candy was free but shoppers were encouraged to make donations to the charity.

"Have a free Tootsie roll," said Jack Eso, handing the candy to Taylor Witt, 5, and his brother Andrew, 3, as they walked into Vons. As they were leaving, each child donated $1.

Another shopper, who gave only his first name, Randall, contributed $20.

"In all the years I've been doing this, I've never gotten a $20 bill. It's always dollars and cents," a surprised Eso said.

The Knights of Columbus is a worldwide Catholic family service organization that works to help the needy. Many Orange County chapters are participating in the Tootsie Roll campaign, said Francis LeBlanc of the Brea organization.

LeBlanc said his chapter expects to raise about $1,000. Proceeds go to the Columbian Foundation for Mentally Retarded Children Inc.

"Years ago, people with mental disabilities were made outcasts, and we just want to help them because they are human beings and we should love them just like we love people who have no disabilities," the 71-year-old LeBlanc said.

"There's a lot of people out there who need help in so many different ways," said Tony Amato of Brea, "and this is our way."

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