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Man collects toys to donate to kids

By Staff | Nov 19, 2008

Local couple Art Nocheck and Lynn Everotte are being nice twice this holiday season by donating numerous toys to the North Fort Myers Fire District holiday toy drive from two events.

Last week, on Nockek’s 90th birthday celebration, the two asked guests to skip presents for him and instead bring a toy for the drive.

“I don’t need anything, and even when you tell someone not to bring a gift they do,” he said.

About 150 attended the event, which was held at Del Tura’s Grand Ballroom where the two live. In lieu of gifts for Nocheck, attendees brought a huge array of toys. The district sent an engine from Station 4 to pick up the many packages.

“There’s now a closet full of toys, everything from scooters to electronics, toys for all age groups,” said the district’s Public Education Officer Mary Havener. “How wonderful it is for someone to think of other people and have this collection from other people.”

The fire department’s Annual Toy Drive benefits children in need of presents at Barrett Park, Palmona Park and Suncoast Estates.

“Those are the areas in which we distribute the toys,” said Havener.

And the two are not stopping with just the birthday. They also belong to a social group at Del Tura that has an annual gift exchange.

“Instead of presents for each other, we’re going to exchange and donate more toys,” said Everotte.

Nocheck said he had a fabulous birthday. Among the 150 guests were 21 members of his family, who traveled here for the celebration.

“They came from all over, including Cincinnati, Ohio; Greenville, South Carolina; and Austin, Texas,” he said. “That included five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. It was surprising and great.”

The two have lived in Del Tura since 1984.

“We like it,” said Nocheck.

To make a donation to the drive, drop off toys at the following stations:

— Station 1, 42 Willis Road

— Station 4, 2900 Trail Dairy Circle