Photo 1 of 2 – Josh Nagy, (center) afternoon host from Mix 98.1, accepts donations to Christmas for Kids from ABATE Region 3 (left) and Wetzel Motorcycle Club (right) at the “Live-Drive” Broadcast from The Oak Leaf Diner in Oakwood last Wednesday night. Julia Keirns/Paulding County Progress
Photo 1 of 2 – Josh Nagy, (center) afternoon host from Mix 98.1, accepts donations to Christmas for Kids from ABATE Region 3 (left) and Wetzel Motorcycle Club (right) at the “Live-Drive” Broadcast from The Oak Leaf Diner in Oakwood last Wednesday night. Julia Keirns/Paulding County Progress
By JULIA KEIRNS

Correspondent

OAKWOOD – Josh Nagy, afternoon host from Mix 98.1 Radio Station hosted a “Live-Drive” Broadcast from The Oak Leaf Diner in Oakwood on Wednesday night, Dec. 5.

“I was in the middle of my first break and someone just handed me a check for $1,500!” stated Nagy. “The people in this town are wonderful. It has been the best first five minutes of starting a live-drive I have ever done.”

Every year for the past four years, Oakwood Mayor Brian Ripke, owner of The Oak Leaf Diner in Oakwood has hosted a “Live-Drive” Broadcast with Mix 98.1 out of Defiance. It is a joint fundraising effort sponsored by Mix 98.1 Radio Station and the Twin Oaks United Methodist Church in Oakwood for the Christmas for Kids.

All of the money and toys donated to the Oakwood Live-Drive event provides Christmas gifts for children who live in the Oakwood School District (ages newborn to 18 – or still in high school). This year, a total of 84 children in 30 different families will benefit.

“This is all I ask for as a Christmas gift,” stated Ripke. “Ever since my kids were little, we have always given to Christmas for Kids in Defiance. I loved the fact that every single dollar stayed local. Once I purchased this restaurant it was one of the first events I even thought about hosting. We requested that all of the money we raised stayed in our own local community, and it does. As long as I have a business and can do it, I will continue to do it every year.”

Paulding County EMA director Ed Bohn stood outside in the cold directing traffic and taking donations. Fun fundraising events included $1 tickets for a chance to throw a pie in Ronnie Coleman’s face and bags of homemade chex mix for $2. The restaurant workers even donated their tips for the evening to the drive.

Nagy interviewed several community members including local children Dawson Bradford, age 12; Dyllan Bradford, age 6; and Alannah Jeffery, age 9, who brought in 15 new toys and donated $20. The restaurant was completely packed for the entire two hours of the live drive.

“My kids were taught to give,” continued Ripke. “I want them to pass the gift of giving on to my grandchildren. That’s what Christmas is all about.”