CENTREVILLE The ninth annual local Toys for Tots campaign sponsored by the Marine Corps Reserve is being hailed as a success.
Gregory M. Manning, coordinator of the local program, said that Toys for Tots distributed 7,842 toys, 568 books, 3,378 stocking stuffers, and more than 2,000 board games to 1,167 children throughout the region.
"We could not make this campaign work without the generous donation of time that our volunteers give to us during sign-ups and distribution of toys," Manning said in a statement. "Kent Island and Queen Anne's County High School students, Easton ROTC, and dozens of other volunteers unselfishly serve the campaign needs on nights of toy distribution. Thank you."
There were 6,674 toys collected at more than 120 sites throughout the northern Shore, not including more than 1,800 stocking stuffers, books, and stuffed toys. The Marine Corps provided 857 toys valued at nearly $8,000, and Toys R Us donated $5,000 worth of toys, Manning said.
The campaign bought an additional $5,000 in toys directly from distributors, which saved thousands of dollars, he added.
Toy distribution was handled at the American Legion Post 18 in Centreville and The Country School in Easton.
"This could not be possible without widespread community involvement," Manning's statement said. "Citizens and business owners deserve all the credit for making Christmas a season of giving and putting wide eyes and smiles on the faces of our children."
Speaking on behalf of the Marine Corps Reserve, the Jason D. Mileo detachment of the Marine Corps League, and the volunteers and committee members, Manning thanked everyone who played a role in the campaign.
He thanked the town of Centreville for including Toys for Tots in its annual Christmas parade, the Young Professionals and the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce for hosting their annual luncheon on behalf of Toys for Tots, and veteran's organizations.
"The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars represent nearly 80 percent of our cash donations. Have no doubt, veterans never stop serving the United States," Manning stated.
Toys for Tots' next event is a bull and oyster roast on April 21 from noon to 5 p.m. at the American Legion Post 18 in Centreville.
Tickets are available by calling 410-556-9990 or by emailing Manning at gregmanning70verizon.net.