DeKalb County, AL Marine Toys for Tots Coordinator LaRue Hardinger and Co-Coordinator Landon Fant attended the Annual Marine Toys for Tots Coordinators Training Conference Sept. 16-19, 2021, and returned with Southeast Region first-place trophies as Campaign of the Year and Coordinator of the Year.
The training and the annual awards dinner took place at the National Conference Center in Loudoun County, VA, just outside Washington, D.C.
Trophies received by Hardinger and Fant were for 2019 Campaign of the Year and 2019 Coordinator of the Year for the Southeast Region, covering seven states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The awards were presented a year late, because the in-person 2020 conference was canceled due to COVID-19.
“Though it was Landon and myself accepting the trophies,” said Hardinger, “I felt so proud of our Marine Corps League volunteers, and all their hard work since our first Toys for Tots campaign in 2013 .
“I also thought of literally hundreds of people in DeKalb County, who worked hard and gave big to make our task and purpose a reality.
“Being number one in the Southeast was not our focus, we were driven to make sure no local child felt forgotten, or that Christmas had passed them by.
“But it sure feels nice to bring home this recognition and good news to our fellow Marine Toys for Tots volunteers.
“These trophies are just a testament to the generosity of the good people of Fort Payne and all of DeKalb County.”
Judging criteria includes:
1. Scope of the campaign
2. Adherence to administrative procedures
3. Spirit of teamwork demonstrated
4. Attention to detail
6. Effectiveness of the execution of the local plan
9. Communication with local businesses, volunteers, and recipients AND Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
10. Results of Internal Audit
Hardinger and Fant presented the campaign trophy to N.E. Alabama Marine Corps League Detachment 1404 Kevin Ellis in their October 2, 2021 meeting.