‘I think we are going to need a bigger room’ — Toys For Tots breaks record
Maryland Heights, Mo.— The banquet room of Syberg’s Restaurant was overflowing with unwrapped toys stacked on the floor around a Christmas tree at the AASP-MO Gateway Collision Chapter’s annual Toys For Tots Christmas Social.
Puzzles, games, toys, and bikes were collected by association members over the last several weeks at their shops, and this year exceeded all expectations.
“I remember our first year of doing this event and we had toys stacked on a table over at Orlando’s Banquet Center,” said Doug Slattery of ATI (Automotive Technology Inc.), who chaired the event. “We thought that was a lot of toys then. Even the Marine that attended that event was concerned about fitting them all in his hatchback. Well, now look at what we have accomplished. This is by far a record for us and it is all thanks to our members and their staffs. I think we are going to need a bigger room.”
There were three United States Marines in attendance among more than 100 who particiapted: Corporal Marhas, Sgt. Henry, and Sgt. Jones, who shared the Toys For Tots program began in 1947 as the brain-child of Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks and how it has evolved over the last 71 years into the largest toy drive in the U.S.
All of the toys collected will stay in the St. Louis area and will be distributed on Christmas to less fortunate children and their families.
The event included hors d’oeuvres sponsored by Enterprise. Other sponsors included Redfield Collision, Don’s Auto Body, ATI, Complete Auto Body, PPG, Cooper Color, Mitchell, Chapman & Hogan Insurance, and ABRA.