Toys for Tots brought smiles to 2,200 kids

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and the Marine Corps League Leland D. “Crow” Crawford Detachment 956 of Elkins completed their 16th annual Toys for Tots distribution in the Elkins region.

The Elkins Marine Corps League collected and purchased over 22,700 toys, books and stuffed animals in Randolph and several other North-central West Virginia counties during the campaign. The Elkins area Marine Corps League members distributed these toys to 1,147 families with a total of 2,248 children in Randolph, Barbour, Lewis, Tucker and Upshur counties and areas in Harrison, Greenbrier, Pocahontas and Webster counties.

This program was a huge success due to the support, enthusiasm, generous donations and sponsorship of the following organizations and businesses: all three Elkins Dollar General stores; Dollar General stores in Beverly, Buckhannon, Weston, Jane Lew, Belington and Philippi; Rite Aid stores in Elkins, Clarksburg Bridgeport, Glenville, Nutter Fort and Shinnston; 7-11 stores in Clarksburg, Shinnston, Mt Clare and Jane Lew; Bill Umbright at State Farm; Jodie Parrack at State Farm; Skinner Insurance Agency; Freedom Bank; Davis Trust Co.; Elkins Dialysis Center; Walgreens Drug Store; Elkins Pack and Ship; Red Hat Society -Purple Majesties; Catholic Charities West Virginia; St. Brendan Catholic Church; Landmark Baptist Church; Refuge Church; Mt. Vernon Colonials 4-H Club, Ski Hi 4-H Club; Randolph County Senior Center; Central Supply Co. and the Home Builders Association of WV; Youth Health Service; Homestead Market in Valley Bend; canaan Valley Resort; Best of Style Shop in Weston; Tractor Supply in Weston; Dollar Tree in Weston; Corhart Refractory; Smitty’s Suzuki of Buckhannon; Larry Brown of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3663 of Buckhannon; Fisher Auto Parts in Buckhannon; Farm Credit & Country Mortgages in Mt. Clare; Southwestern Energy in Jane Lew; A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts in Clarksburg; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Clarksburg; Steptoe & Johnson in Bridgeport; Noblis in Bridgeport; Karen Bowers in Parsons; H&M Motor Co. in Weston; Freedom Kia of Clarksburg; Buckhannon Academy; Robert L. Bland Middle School in Weston; and Amelia Rossi and Davis & Elkins College Student Veterans Association.

A special thanks goes to Kendra Wegman and the 326th Quartermaster U.S. Army Reserve Unit; West Virginia Work Force; Department of Health and Human Resources offices in Randolph and Tucker counties; Elkins Walmart; Papa John’s Pizza of Elkins; Byrd’s House of Donuts; John Marteney of Marteney Electric, Chuck Marteney; Chad Vance; Grace Holmes; Kristie Croston; Harrison Community Church “Wings” Group in Mabie; Jennifer Cook, in memory of Hanna Cook; and Craig Phillips for allowing us to use a building at Tygart Valley Mall in Elkins as our toy collection and distribution site. The Inter-Mountain is thanked and commended for continuous advertising and media coverage. Extended appreciation is given to the Bon Secours Mercy Health of Cincinnati, Ohio, for their Build-a-Bike event at Stonewall Resort which resulted in 100 bicycles being donated to our Toys for Tots program. We also give thanks for the generosity of the employees of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline including Michel’s Pipeline Spread 12-2 in Buckhannon, Rockford Pipeline in Elkwater and Precision Pipeline Spread A and Precision Pipeline Spread B in Bridgeport who collectively donated almost 5,000 toys for our program.

Toys for Tots received a generous amount of help in sorting and distributing from several Randolph Technical Center nursing students including Tyler Gum, Mykala Davis, Courtney Isenhart, Katelyn Bowers, Isabella Zais, Jordyn McDaniel, Megan Broschart, Madison Bell, Michelle Bond and Erin Haynes.

A heartfelt “thank you” for monetary donations goes to June Myles, Dorcus Arbogast, James and Charlotte Lemons and June and Geoffrey Swanhart in memory of Roy Wood; Evans and Joyce King; Don and Patty Cover; Herman Conrad, William Kable; David Streets; Mary Johnson, Patty Karlen, Margaret Gum, James Fisher, Robert and Elizabeth Bowers, Mark and Donna Forinash, Ron and Cynthia Bodkin, Pat Calain, Edgar Lewis, James Kane, Brent and Deborah Cutright, Susan Hinzman, Amanda Reilly, Pete and Anita Tacy, George and Debra Hudak, David and Sue Foreback, Betty J. and Paula Konopnicki of Springfield, Virginia, Vietnam Veterans of America Elkins Chapter 812, American Legion Post 29 Ladies Auxiliary, Buckhannon Wing Company LLC; Steptoe & Johnson PLLC and Precision Pipeline SpreadA Bridgeport. The following locations are thanked for supporting our campaign with Toys for Tots coin collection boxes: State Farm Insurance, The Lunch Box, Gino’s Pizza and Spaghetti House, Pizza Hut, Lori’s Clipper Cuts, T-Mart, Patron Mexican Restaurant; Frankie’s Pizza in Beverly and Fox’s Pizza; Homestead Market in Valley Bend and Beanders. There are others who deserve thanks but they are too numerous to mention.

Promotional events were held at A.C. Moore in Clarksburg and Stonewall Resort in Roanoke. The owners, managers, employees and customers of these businesses are thanked for their support.

The time, energy and commitment of all the Elkins Marine Corps League members is fully appreciated and they are thanked so much.

Elkins Marine Corps League Detachment 956 members involved in the local Toys for Tots program this year included Judith Ware, Judy Gum, Greg Irwin, Jack and Donna Marteney, Larry Brown, Roger Allman, Lynn and Sherry Ware, Pete and Anita Tacy, Ron Bodkin, Todd Hess, Debra Hess, Tom Domingo and David and Nancy Rice.

Volunteer assistance was provided by Scottie, Tawnya, Ryan and Tyler Gum and Joyce Griffith. Roger Ware served as regional chairman with Greg Irwin and Judy Gum of Valley Bend serving as co-chairmen for Randolph and several other counties, while Larry Brown of Buckhannon served as co-chairman for Upshur and Lewis counties. These members are thanked for volunteering over 3,100 community hours and traveling almost 7,200 miles, thus ensuring this project was successful for underprivileged children in Randolph and surrounding counties.

Roger Ware

Elkins Marine Corps League

Toys for Tots Chairman