Cheer Fund distribution set for Saturday

Be prepared for some changes Saturday morning when the Columbus Firemen’s Cheer Fund’s distribution of gifts to about 1,300 children from gets underway.

One new development expected to generate excitement is a social media challenge that has surfaced among volunteers, Cheer Fund co-chairman Chris Owens said.

A number of drivers will be competing with each other to see who can come up with the most elaborate lights and decorations for their vehicles, he said.

“That’s all creating a lot of excitement among the firefighters,” Owens said. “We’re sort of exhausted at this point, and we need the energy from the people.”

One other change will allow drivers, assistants and receiving families with young children to get a little extra sleep this year.

Deliveries originating at the Doug Otto United Way Center, 1531 13th St., will begin at 8 a.m. — one hour later than recent years, Owens said.

By delaying the start, organizers are alleviating scheduling problems at city firehouses resulting from shift changes, Owens said.

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.