Lincoln County Toys for Tots (TFT) will kick off this year’s Toys for Tots campaign on Oct. 4. The Marine Corps League, Detachment 1405 will start the kick-off with a poker run that covers over 100 miles. The poker run will start at the Hawk Point VFW Post 7560 located on Hwy. A. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. The run will start at 9:30 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Prizes are awarded on the best hand, not on who finishes first. Best hand earns $100, second best gets $75 and the third best hand gets $50. It will be a seven card stop with the best five cards being played. There will be a silent auction after the poker run. Contact Terry Mayberry, Lincoln County Toys for Tots Coordinator at (636) 528-2115 to donate to the silent auction. The VFW Post 7560 will have a BBQ, and there will also be a 50/50 drawing.
Mayberry, the TFT Coordinator, said, “Last year was the first year Marine Corps League, Detachment 1405 conducted the Toys for Tots campaign in Lincoln County.” They identified over 1,500 needy children in Lincoln County. The volunteers paid for their own gas and cell phone use. Additionally, other services were needed such as a warehouse space where they collect, sort and distribute toys. The Mimir Flexo Printing came to the rescue and donated 2000 square feet of warehouse space not just for the holiday period, but to use all year round to store Toys for Tots material.
Several businesses donated cash to help with the much needed new toys. Other businesses, like Title Max, celebrated by having an open house Christmas party with Santa Claus. Some businesses, like Behlmann, ended up providing more than two truckloads of toys. Other companies gave discounts on books and toys. Some stores donated tape, coffee and boxes to place the toys in for distribution. Some individuals gave prepaid gas cards.
A benefit of having a Lincoln County Toys for Tots is that all contributions collected in the county stay in Lincoln County. In the past, all donations went to St. Louis for distribution. Marine Corps League will place donation boxes and contribution boxes in more than 65 locations. The goal is to put out more toy collection boxes. Call Ray at (314) 750-5506 to volunteer.
The primary goal this year is to reach more than 2,000 needy children. The second goal is to improve on the quality of new toys given to children. All this while making sure all funds and toys collected in Lincoln County are distributed in Lincoln County.
In late September, the Marine Corps League, Detachment 1405 will be placing donation boxes throughout Lincoln County. After the toys are collected, they will be separated by age and gender. Distribution will begin around Thanksgiving weekend. Final distribution will be on Dec. 23.
For questions or to get involved, call Lincoln County Toys for Tots coordinator Terry Mayberry at (636) 528-2115. The Toys for Tots campaign would like to thank all who helped last year. A special thanks go out to the members of the Marine Corps League, Detachment 1405, who supports Toys for Tots year round.