The UAB Hospital Maintenance Department will support the Child Life Program at UAB for the 26th consecutive year when it hosts the annual Christmas Toy Fund celebration Thursday, Dec. 13.

The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. in the North Pavilion Atrium on the second floor.

“This is an event we look forward to every year,” says Doug Williams, an electrician in Hospital Maintenance who is in his sixth year of directing the department’s fundraising efforts. “It’s always special to all of us. We enjoy giving to the children.”

The event will be especially sentimental this year. Tim Sumerel, a founding member of the Christmas Toy Fund, passed away earlier this fall a few weeks after retiring.

“He was with this program from the very beginning,” Williams says. “He worked on it for more than 25 years. He was part of the program since it was just a few of us going door-to-door in the hospital. He’s going to be missed.”

Williams says donations still are being accepted for this year through Dec. 7; maintenance collects money for the fund all year long. Through donations from UAB employees, vendors, contractors and friends, Hospital Maintenance has been able to provide children and their families a positive and uplifting experience during the Christmas season.

The maintenance staff raised more than $14,000 for the fund this past year, but Williams says donations this year are well below that. “We’re trying to have a big push here at the end,” he says. “We really need people to donate now. We’re several thousand dollars away from our goal and way behind where we were last year.”

If you would like to make a donation to aid in the purchase of toys and supplies for the program, please send a check payable to the UAB Maintenance Pediatric Toy Fund, 619 19th St. South, Room S036, Birmingham AL 35294.

For more information on the Christmas Toy Fund celebration or to donate, contact Williams at 934-6181 or You also can contact Tabatha Issac at 975-3231 or