By Eden Laikin
NY Yankee great Dave Winfield, Golf Legend Jack Nicklaus and Astronaut Michael Massimino will help Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano kick off this years United States Marine Corp Toys for Tots drive, to ensure that those children in Nassau County who are in need, receive a new toy this holiday season. The kick-off celebration and toy drive, will be held at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration barn from 11am-2pm, tomorrow Friday Oct. 9. In addition to the celebrities, some of the young toy recipients, and many of the businesses that participate each year in the toy drive, will be represented at tomorrow’s event.
The County Executive has served as Honorary Co-Chair of the Toys for Tots drive, for the past 5 years, working alongside Marine Major Chuck Kilbride. Kilbride called this year’s kick-off and drive, the “biggest ever.”
Toys for Tots raises just under $1 million in cash and toys, each year – much of which comes from hundreds of generous corporate donors, such as 7-11, Toys R Us; HESS, Hasbro, Disney, Macys, the UPS store and Build-A-Bear Workshop; as well as from volunteer fire departments and PBAs. The organization also honors any police officers who may have died over the last year, and works closely with Wounded Warriors.
County Executive Mangano called Kilbride “the backbone of this incredible operation for over 20 years.” And he thanked the United States Marines, for their “tireless efforts of bringing joy to little girls and boys with toys for the holidays.”
Until Friday December 18th, there will be Toys for Tots Collection Boxes in every county office building. At these locations, residents can donate a new un-wrapped toy. Residents can also call Mangano’s office at 571-6000 for more information or to find the drop off location closest to you.
“Toys for Tots is not just about toys….it is about sending a message of hope to less fortunate children who otherwise would not be receiving presents this holiday season,” he said. “I urge residents, who can, to donate new un-wrapped toys so that every little boy or girl in Nassau County can receive one this holiday season.”