Area businesses work together to help Frayer family

While enjoying the Christmas parades in Rolla, St. James and Newburg this weekend, make sure to stop by one of three collection sites to support the first annual Holiday Hope Project.

The project, which begins Saturday, is sponsored by the Leader-Journal, the Mitchell Clinic and Sunny 104.5.

The project, which is similar to Adopt-A-Family, involves collecting Christmas gifts, including toys, clothes and gift cards, to give to a local family.

This year, the project will help the family of Andrew Frayer, a Rolla boy whose home was destroyed by a fire while he was seeking treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

The idea began when Leader-Journal Editor Jim Brock contacted Susan Mitchell of the Mitchell Clinic to organize some type of fundraising event for the family. Mitchell then contacted Amy Mullen at Sunny 104.5, who along with the station’s general manager Keith Stephenson, came up with the idea for an areawide collection project.

Stephenson came up with the name, which all parties involved loved right away.

“I was hoping to grab my guitar and organize some type of benefit for the little guy and his family, but this will likely be a better deal for everyone involved,” said Brock.

Mitchell, who recently held an event in town to raise money to send Andrew to Disney World, said she hopes to see this become a tradition.

“We’re proud to be part of a community that is so ready to help other people,” said Mitchell. “We just want to help this family have a good Christmas in spite of everything that has happened.”

Gifts will be collected at the St. James Leader-Journal, the Mitchell Clinic and Sunny 104.5.

Although the collection efforts will not begin until this Saturday, anyone willing to donate can do so at any time. The project runs until Dec. 20. For more information, call 573-265-3321.