Toys for Tots Marathon was a success

FRESNO, Calif.

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People came through by donating over 12,000 toys and close to the 90-thousand dollars in cash.

The marines take this mission as seriously as any other. They sorted through thousands of donated toys which will put big smiles on needy kids around the valley.

Sgt. Christopher LeCureux says the Toys for Tots marathon weekend was a big success but the drive isn't done. Lecureux explained, "We're almost there. We're getting close. Right now we have about 30-thousand more toys requested."

Despite the tight economy, people gave generously this weekend so kids won't have to do without this Christmas.

Sgt. Lecureux said, "We had a lot of great sports equipment, a lot of great bicycles, nerf guns. A ton of action figures, alot of makeup sets for girls."

Linda Dippel of the United Way of Fresno County said of the public support, "It really can make you cry. We had people come up who said they got toys from Toys for Tots when they were children and it's time to pay it forward."

But it was the cash donations which had Sgt. LeCureux and Linda Dippel so excited. A box full of money will be used to buy even more toys. A total of just over 86-thousand dollars was collected, including a 15-thousand dollar and a 10-thousand dollar check. Some people offered dollar bills. All of the money was appreciated.

Dippel said, "Some kids it's the first year that the parents can't provide. The economy brought in a lot of hardships this year. It may not feed them. It may not clothe them. It may be just a toy but in the heart of a child that's a lot."

The Toys for Tots drive continues this week with several drop-off locations. Again, 30-thousand more toys are still needed.

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