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Community supports Toys for Tots drive

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At this time, I would like to thank the people and businesses of Lincoln for their generous donations of toys and money to our 2008 Toys for Tots Campaign. Because of this generosity, Toys for Tots Lincoln distributed over 6,000 toys in 2008. Lincoln Lions Club received the bulk of the toys for their annual Christmas program for families in need. Lincoln PAL; Friends of Leonard, which is affiliated with four Lincoln churches; and the Episcopal Church in Lincoln received toys for their distributions to needy families. Several-hundred toys were turned over to the Lighthouse Counseling and Family Resource Center to provide for their needy families. Heritage Church in Lincoln received toys for members of their congregation in need. Deborah Getz who heads the nonprofit, Never Forget Our Fallen organization, was given toys for families of members serving in the military whose financial resources are limited. Toys also went to Roseville organizations that assist the needy at Christmas because some of our toys were collected in that area. Toys were delivered to several individual families by Toys for Tots volunteers. Those families called in or e-mailed for assistance either because they applied too late to get toys from other sources or could not get through to the agencies distributing toys. Still needing to be distributed are 156 toys that were received on Christmas Eve or later. They probably will be given to kids in hospitals or special programs, such as foster care or residential placement or the police department for use when they must take kids into protective custody. We thank the following businesses and organizations who accepted toy collection boxes: City of Lincoln: City Hall, Library at Twelve Bridges, Fire Stations at Joiner Parkway and McBean Parkway and Police Department; Orchard Creek Lodge; Joiner Parkway Self Storage; First Bank; Edward Jones; Lincoln Hills Golf Club; Century 21at Sterling Point; Atlas Chiropractic Center; Umpqua Banks at 5th Street, at Safeway Shopping Center and on Twelve Bridges; Safeway Store; UPS Store; Lincoln Jewelers, River City Bank and Blockbuster at Safeway Shopping Center; Rainforest Spa & Salon, Wells Fargo Bank, and A.G.Edwards at Sun City Blvd.; Catta Verdera Country Club; Thai Basil, A-1 Dental, Sutter Clinic and Star Jewelers at Twelve Bridges; Club Lincoln Crossing; Curves; Gold's Gym on Nicolaus Road; Champ Cuts, Washington Mutual Bank, AAA and Wells Fargo Bank at Raley's Shopping Center; Lincoln News Messenger; Lincoln Chamber of Commerce; Kim' Country Kitchen; Dr. Tom E La Gabed; Citi Financial; Guaranty Bank; Coon Creek Trap and Skeet; Kodiak Roofing and Waterproofing Co.; Robb Jack Corporation; Big O Tires; All American Gym and Twelve Bridges Elementary School. A very special thank you to Chuck and Terri Salo of California RV Storage for storing our toys during the collection phase and our collection boxes all year for the past three years. Many others contributed to the campaign to provide a toy to every needy child in our area. Placer Area Concepts Car & Truck Club, in cooperation with Lincoln Home Depot, held a car show that raised many donations in toys and money. George and Joan Ahart had their usual November event for Toys for Tots at Coon Creek Trap & Skeet. George added to his usual agenda by making his first parachute jump over Coon Creek. But he was not be alone. Kim Strong of Kim's Country Kitchen joined him for the jump. The event was well attended and resulted in over a $1,000 donation to Toys for Tots and 225 donated toys. The Community Christian School on First Street invited Toys for Tots members to an annual ceremony where the students individually donated toys for needy kids. The total donated this year was 107 toys. Steve Art, Lincoln's economic redevelopment manager, had his annual birthday party at Buonarotti's, where he requested that everyone bring a toy. He also agreed to the raffling off of a large donated stuffed dog. Over $600 and 139 toys were donated at that event. Other groups and individuals asked for toy collection boxes and donated toys. Many, such as the Lincoln Hills Antique Group, the Lincoln Hills Red Hat Society and the Lincoln Hills Tennis Group and Sutter Medical made substantial donations in toys or money, or both. A man named John played Santa Claus for a Toys for Tots event. He did a superb job. A group of middle-school students, billing themselves as the Toys for Tots Holiday Singers, sang at several locations, always asking for a toy as the price of admission. Twelve elementary-school students from Twelve Bridges Elementary School used a $2,000 allocation from Toys R Us to purchase toys for their less fortunate peers. The list goes on and on of people and organizations that contributed to this year's toy drive. Toys for Tots Lincoln thanks you all on behalf of the kids and families served. None of this could have been achieved without the help of my fellow Marines: Harry Maker, Harry Dietrick, Ben Ford, Richard Zimmerman, Tom Fox, Jim Curl, Robert Morrisey, Jim Kennemore, John Johnson, Jim Hart, Ben Hovis, Gary Adair and Nancy Taylor-Granelli and their spouses, including my wife, Fran. We thank the Lincoln community for your generous and continuous support. In submitting this report, I am providing highlights that were chosen to give an overall picture of the 2008 campaign. If I missed any person, group or activity, it was to keep the report as concise as possible and in no way reflects the favoring of one contribution over others. All contributions are equally cherished and have become an essential part of our permanent records. Respectfully submitted, Frank Neves, Lincoln Toys for Tots Coordinator