Toys for Tots needs some help

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Press file Volunteer Julia Mangan sorts games at the Toys for Tots staging area at Kootenai County Fire and Rescue training center in Post Falls on Nov. 20, 2015.

Marines to celebrate 244 years Saturday

Local Marines will hold a birthday ball in Coeur d’Alene on Nov. 10 to celebrate 244 years of service. The gala will be held at the Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn, 506 W. Appleway. The bar opens at 5 p.m.

There’s no fun and games in these numbers.

The local Toys for Tots drive, which benefits more than 2,000 deserving kids in Kootenai County every year, is thousands of dollars shy in its fundraising efforts.

“We’re sort of behind the eight ball right now,” said Michael Quinn of Post Falls, donations coordinator for the drive, which is sponsored locally by the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

The foundation needs about $25,000 to pull off the event. It has about $5,000 on the books.

Last year, 8,453 toys were put in the hands of local children.

Program organizers will approach the Pappy Boyington Marine Corps League for help, Quinn said, but more is needed.

“We’re looking for some assistance,” he said.

Retired veteran Darrell Mayer of Rathdrum has been volunteering for the local Toys for Tots for six years. He said the need for funding assistance was big.

“I was looking at what was in the warehouse the other day and it was kind of skimpy,” Mayer said. “We have 85 boxes, but it’s not nearly enough to keep up with the demand.”

Quinn said people are already showing up at the VFW in Post Falls asking when and how to sign up to be considered for the charitable program.

Registration is Dec. 2 at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. Interested parties will need to provide proof of guardianship, and some form of in-need verification such as WIC (Woman, Infants and Children), or disability assistance.

Toys this year will be distributed Dec. 3-21, but Quinn said they may be delivered up to Christmas Eve under special circumstances such as a parent was unable to schedule a delivery.

Residents interested in donating a new, unwrapped toy for children from newborn to 12 years old can drop it off at the Elks Lodge, 1170 W. Prairie Ave. Donation boxes will be set up throughout Kootenai County later this month. Locations will be announced later.

Checks can be sent to: Toys for Tots, P.O. Box 261, Hayden, ID 83835

The Kootenai County Toys for Tots program has been in operation for 24 years. It’s run locally by the Pappy Boyington Detachment No. 966 of the Marine Corps League.

For information on the Toys for Tots drive, contact Quinn at 801-808-0343.

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