Toys For Tots volunteers dined in early February at Table On The Green restaurant to celebrate the highly successful 2019 Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots program in Moore County. Jerry Townley, Local Coordinator for the program in Moore County, presented the results of their efforts, outlining the records broken.
Over 3,800 children in the county received an average of 3.2 toys, a new record for the program. A total of 12,628 toys were given out, exceeding the previous record of 11,000 toys distributed in 2018. Townley attributed these increases to a record number of toys collected throughout the county in the 175 plus collection boxes, fundraising events by several groups and special Toys For Tots promotional events with a “bring a toy” theme.
The fundraising effort was again led by a group of members at Forest Creek Golf Club with over $21,000 collected, the annual Westbrook Dinner in Southern Pines, Neville’s Bar Golf Outing and Hit Point Hobbies fundraisers. Monies collected are used to purchase toys in certain age groups where there is a shortfall in the receipt of toys from the community.
Townley also credited the more than 45 organizations who annually partner with the local Toys For Tots unit by submitting requests for the children/families they help and support. These groups, who qualify the families based on need and provide a list of children by gender and age. Toys are provided for children from infants to 12 years of age. They are our partners in getting toys, books & stocking stuffers to the families and children.
Groups requesting the largest number of toys include the Boys and Girls Clubs, Northern Moore Family Resource Center, Caring Hearts for Kids of Moore, Moore County Schools, and area churches. The groups who collect the largest number of toys included Moore County Fire Departments, Pinehurst Medical Clinics, Talamore Golf Club, Pinewild Country Club, the Westbrook dinner, and the VFW.
Toys For Tots was first introduced to Moore County in 1998 and has grown to today’s size due to the efforts of many volunteers who provide the manpower for the warehouse operations, collection box distribution and toy collection plus the administrative requirements of the Toys For Tots Foundation. “We couldn’t conduct this massive program without these people, Townley added. They take time from their busy lives and give us three months of effort and expertise.”
“We are more than blessed to have a place to conduct this program,” Mr. John O’Malley, owner of O’Malley Investments, donates a large space in one of his warehouse properties to house the toys. “Without this space we would be very limited in our ability to handle such large quantities of toys. We again thank him with all of our collective hearts!”
The Moore County Toys For Tots program is conducted under the direction and authority of the Marine Corps League, Sandhills Detachment 1001, David Powers, Commandant.
Photo: Front Row: Front Row L-R: Judy Townley, Heidi Whitescarver, Carolyn Tracy, Carolyn Hallett, Lois Smart, Chuck Walters, Carole Base, Dave Berger, Tom Woltersdorf and Walt Havenstein. Back Row L-R: Dave Powers, Jerry Townley, Stephen Boyd, Dick Hendricks, Ben Benjamin, Peter Dotto, Dick Maley, Jane Diefendorf and John Harding. Not Pictured: Harry & Peggy Herman, Bob Friedrichs and Tamara Herbst. (Courtesy photo)