From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Sesame Street the U.S. Marines have built a reputation not only as the fiercest freedom fighting machine the world has ever known but as the warmest hearted, most dedicated men and women our country has to guarantee children have a Merry Christmas. For over six decades the Marine Corp. has been doing just that through their Toys for Tots program. Last weekend, while sweeping two from the #1 Fairbanks Ice Dogs the Peninsula Brown Bears teamed up with the men and women of the U.S. Marines and a few of their local recruits preparing for boot camp to sell stuffed animals to be tossed at the gun turret of a Humvee. Before a crowd of some 1,500 fans the Humvee circled the ice thrice and came under fluffy fire, “It was a great turn out and I thank everyone for their help and participation we made over $1,400 dollars on the stuffed animal sale alone and then the Soldotna Rotary Club stepped up with $1,000 cash donation that almost doubled our efforts. So all in all it was a great success and we’ll be adding that to our other cash donations for a shopping spree locally to buy items for our Peninsula distribution so that we have appropriate new toys for all age groups and no one gets left out,” Sgt. Rehm told the Dispatch. The lucky toys that made it into the Humvee were then drawn for a series of prizes contributed from local businesses.
This is the final week to bring a new, unwrapped toy to any of the local drop off business locations with the final deadline being Saturday, December 15th. Additionally, according to Johna Beech of the Kenai Chamber and Visitor Center Saturday the 15th a Toys for Tots Night will be held from 8:00pm – 2:00am at the Main Street Tap & Grill at the intersection of the Kenai Spur Hwy in Kenai and Main Street, featuring live music by the 9Spine and fun games like Split the Pot, Jello-Tot-Shots and Kill the Keg. You can also bring a new un-wrapped toy to the event for donation to the Toys for Tots program, “All proceeds and toys collected will be distributed to families on the Kenai Peninsula,” she said. For more information call the Kenai Chamber of Commerce at 283-7989 or to apply for assistance from the Toys for Tots program stop by the Salvation Army family service office next to the Kenai Thrift Store on the Spur Hwy.