Now that another Christmas has come and gone, we begin a new year, and we want to say thanks to all for helping to make the 2012 U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign a success. During a time when many of us were experiencing a difficult financial time, you dug down deep and gave to the children. Whether it was a single toy dropped in one of our collection boxes, a toy or fundraiser you may have conducted or the monetary donation you gave, you enabled us to accomplish our mission. The people of Fulton and Montgomery counties came through again to help and provide some happiness to the children in need.
This year, we distributed more than 3,700 toys to more than 1,580 local children. The number of children was a combination of those from 10 non-profit service organizations and 376 families. The toys were distributed over a two-day period at the former Jansen Avenue School in Johnstown and through the non-profit service organizations. Also, more than $5,000 was donated through various fundraisers conducted by businesses and organizations. This money was used to purchase the extra toys needed to fulfill our mission. It was a busy time but a fulfilling time.
As a reminder, all donations received in our two-county area stayed in our area.
In giving thanks, we have to make sure that we acknowledge the following: first and foremost, all the local businesses, organizations and private citizens of Fulton and Montgomery counties; the Johnstown school board for allowing us to use the Jansen Avenue School to run our program, and its custodial staff who couldn't do enough for us; the businesses that conducted toy and fundraisers; the local media outlets that supported us; and my hard- working volunteers.
Plans are already getting under way for the 2013 campaign. We plan on doing some additional fundraising events and will need your help.
If you would like to know more about our program, please visit the Toys for Tots website at www.toysfortots.org. Under the "Request a Toy" banner, select "State" then "Fulton or Montgomery." This will bring you to our personal page that will give you more information and also show you who supported us in better detail. Again, a tip of our Marine Corps covers to all. Job well done and Semper Fi.
JOHN and MARY PRADELSKI
Toys for Tots coordinators
Fulton and Montgomery counties