The "Doll Lady of Matlacha" Helen O'Rourke McClary's annual Christmas toy collection got off to a good start in early November when a woman named Joann came forward dropping off two extra-large bags stuffed full of plush Teddy Bears that had belonged to her mother.
McClary's and her son, B. Pat O'Rourke, have been collecting toys, especially teddy bears, for the Salvation Army for more than 10 years. McClary's is an emeritus member of the Salvation Army advisory board and a volunteer for more than 70 years. Her son is also a member of the advisory board. The Salvation Army honored her 60 years of service in 2004.
McClary grew up in Chile
Mrs. Helen O'Rourke McClary (the Doll Lady of Matlacha) with the toys collected this year.
Before retiring from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), McClary was known as the "Charity Watchdog." McClary was instrumental in developing national standards for charities for the BBB.
"I want to thank everyone for their generosity this year, McClary said. "We have over 100 gifts of clothing and 100 gifts of toys."