Toys for Tots raises record-breaking $7,352 at weekend event

Back row, from left: Tom Bazemore, Det 1404 Commandant Kevin Ellis, John Moses, Command Sgt Major Herbert Hollingsworth, Jim Nabors, and Glenda Martin. Front row, from left: Charles Martin, Bobby Ledbetter of Twin City Used Car Sales, Eiko Key, Andy  White of Twin City Used Car Sales.

The Marine Toys for Tots of DeKalb County’s Fundraiser and Toy Drive on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16 and 17 at Fort Payne Walmart raised $7,351.65 and 1,121 toys and stocking stuffers.

This was a record-breaking event for the non-profit in its nine years of conducting the program in DeKalb County.

We believe this is due to outstanding support from the community and very importantly — the new sponsorship of Bobby Ledbetter Twin City Used Car Sales.

Bobby Ledbetter provided the Marine Toys for Tots truck and trailer in which to collect and haul the toys.

Ledbetter also helped to arrange live and print media coverage of the event.

“We are thankful for this outstanding commitment from a new business sponsor, and consider Bobby Ledbetter a Toys for Tots team member,” said DeKalb County Toys for Tots Coordinator LaRue Hardinger.

At least 21 volunteers worked during the weekend’s event, including 13 members of the N.E. Alabama Marine Corps League Detachment # 1404:

Tom Bazemore, Woody Blevins, Wanda Dobbs, Barbara Dove, Christy Ellis, Kevin Ellis, Alaina Fant, Austin Fant, Jennifer Fant, Landon Fant, LaRue Hardinger, MikeandEiko Key, Linda Layne, Bobby Ledbetter, Debbie McMichen, Charles Martin, Glenda Martin, John Moses, Jim Nabors, Nellie Perkins.

Fort Payne Marine Corps League Detachment # 1404 has since 2013 been the non-profit organization vetted and approved by the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to coordinate and conduct the MTFT campaign in DeKalb County, AL.

The local Marine Toys for Tots campaign coordinator has authority from the MTFT Foundation to vet and recruit other groups within the community to carry out certain necessary tasks.

This includes the DHR, FPHS JROTC; National Guard Armory; Marine Recruiters; other military branch veteran organizations; churches who serve underprivileged families at Christmas; providers of vehicles in which to collect and transport toys; providers of buildings in which to collect, sort, bag and store toys; school and head start personnel; and any business, organization or individual which provides substantial support in the form of goods, services, manpower, food and gas for working volunteers; media personnel who provide publicity of campaign activities; groups who organize and conduct in-house toy drives or give sizable corporate donations.

Because so many in the community did work together last Christmas, Marine Toys for Tots was able to provide new toys for 1,249 local children in need.

“The numbers of children-in-need have steadily risen since 2013, and we definitely need your continued help!” Hardinger said.

Families can still apply for assistance for this year’s campaign until Friday, October 29 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the DHR office located at 2301 Briarwood Ave S, Fort Payne.

For more information about Marine Toys for Tots of DeKalb County or to donate securely go to:

Donations are accepted year-round, and checks should be made out to “Toys for Tots” and should be mailed to:

Marine Toys for Tots Coordinator

P.O. Box 681516

Fort Payne, AL, 35968

Online donations are also accepted at the above website under the feature, “Donate Local”.

Fundraiser ideas are always welcome; and citizens, churches, stores, employee groups, clubs, and organizations can request to hold a fundraiser.

The next scheduled fundraiser and toy drive will be at Fort Payne Walmart on Friday, Nov. 5, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Marines and Associate Marine volunteers will be accepting new, unwrapped toys or monetary donations.

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