Top News

Memory of Centreville boy Jacob Stern lives on through toy drive in support of Salvation Army

Jacob Stern’s eight-year-old sister, Maddie Stern, and his mom, Melissa Benjamin, with a shopping cart load of toys donated as part of a toy drive held in Jacob’s memory.
Jacob Stern’s sister, Maddie Stern, and his mom, Melissa Benjamin, with a shopping cart loaded with toys donated last year as part of a toy drive held in Jacob’s memory. - File photo

NEW MINAS, NS - The memory of a Centreville boy who touched the hearts of countless people through his brave battle against cancer is being honoured again this year with a toy drive named after him.

Four-year-old Jacob Stern passed away in October 2016 after a courageous fight against a rare form of muscle cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma. He was only 15 months old when he was diagnosed.

Judy Benjamin, Jacob’s grandmother, said he was a “real trooper” considering everything that he went through. The family now holds an annual toy drive to give back to the community that helped them so much during his ordeal. They want to help ensure that children from less fortunate families have smiles on their faces on Christmas morning.

This year’s toy drive takes place at Walmart in New Minas on Dec. 1 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Drop off locations include 415 Stead St., Kentville; RE/MAX Advantage, 17 Webster Ct., Kentville, and Forbes Kia, 5488 Prospect Rd., New Minas.

Jacob Stern’s mom Melissa Benjamin, centre, with volunteers helping out with a toy drive held last year in his memory. The volunteers included several members of the Valley Chapter of Pirate Off-Road Nation.
Jacob Stern’s mom Melissa Benjamin, centre, with volunteers helping out with a toy drive held last year in his memory. The volunteers included several members of the Valley Chapter of Pirate Off-Road Nation.

 

ALSO SEE:

TOYS DONATED IN JACOB’S MEMORY TO PUT SMILES ON FACES OF VALLEY CHILDREN IN NEED

CENTREVILLE BOY BATTLING RARE CANCER MADE HONORARY FIREFIGHTER, GIVEN PARADE

GIFT OF TIME NEEDED TO MAKE KENTVILLE SALVATION ARMY CHRISTMAS KETTLE CAMPAIGN A SUCCESS

Benjamin said Jacob would have loved the toy drive and he would have loved knowing that, because of him, there will be many more boys and girls with gifts under the tree to unwrap. After all, he loved Christmas and the various toys and gifts that he received from so many different people.

“I think he would have been ecstatic,” Benjamin said. “I’m positive that he’s going to be with us that day.”

All proceeds go toward supporting the Salvation Army in its effort to provide toys to kids in need at Christmas time. The Salvation Army and other area churches work together toward this goal, last year providing gifts to 621 children.

Benjamin said the toy drive is a way for them to pay forward the support the Salvation Army provided to Melissa Benjamin, Jacob’s mom, while Jacob was battling cancer.

Benjamin said people can support the toy drive by purchasing toys and dropping them off or by making cash donations. She said they’ve already raised about $780 through the sale of prize calendars and they’ll be selling 50-50 tickets on the day of the toy drive with the draw being held at the end.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

The annual Jacob Stern Memorial Toy Drive is coming up at Walmart in New Minas on Dec. 1.
The annual Jacob Stern Memorial Toy Drive is coming up at Walmart in New Minas on Dec. 1.

Recent Stories