The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 15, 2012

Hearts and darts


Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Here are some of the good things readers noticed around the area recently:

Jeff Wakeland, coordinator Toys for Tots for the Maj. Kenneth D. Bailey Detachment 824 of the Marine Corps League in Danville, sends hearts to many generous people.

“It’s all about the kids. Thanks to many of you, more than 2,000 kids will have a happy Christmas this year.

“The collecting, counting and sorting completed; another flurry of chaotic giving has been successfully fulfilled.

“Toys for Tots is over for another year. There are many generous folks to be thanked.

“First, to all who dug deep into their pockets in these lean economic times and purchased toys and dropped them in one of our many boxes or gave us money, thank you.

“Second, to all who took the time to organize fundraisers, and to those who attended them and gave toys and money, thank you.

“Third, to all who donated their time for collecting the many toy boxes around town, for hanging out and counting and sorting thousands of toys — yes, we must count every single one, no matter how big or small — and for those who give us two very exhausting days to help it all come together, thank you.

“Fourth, to the Rising Sons Motorcycle Club for their 30 years of donating toys and money, not to mention their extra muscles to carry in the heavy boxes of toys on set-up day and then for their presence on Distribution Day, thank you.

“Fifth, to all of the teenagers who came from Catlin High School and Oakwood High School. Holy moley! You guys are remarkable and hard working. Without you guys, the day would not have run as smooth as it did. A huge thank you!

“Sixth, and finally, to those businesses in town that kept the volunteers fed and hydrated. None of you hesitated when asked to provide food and drinks to us for set-up day and Distribution Day. Thank you.

“The donors were Royal Donut — sugar to get us going in the morning!; Back Door Pizza — protein and carbs to keep us going on Tuesday; County Market — finger-lickin’ protein to keep our energy up on Wednesday and then when we ran out feeding all of those teenagers, cooked some more!; Jocko’s Pizza — more protein and carbs to keep us going on Wednesday; Gaudio and Sons — water, water and more water); and Big R — pop, pop and more pop.

“And hearts to Joy Dell’Aringa, who donated food from afar. We ran out of lunch with all those hungry teenagers, so she ordered a couple more pizzas for them. Thank you.

“Toys and money are what we need most to give these 2,000 plus kids a happy Christmas, but your time and help given and food and water to sustain and keep us going are equally valuable to be able to provide that happy Christmas!

“Those of us in the Marine Corps League of Danville cannot express enough gratitude to any and all of you who gave, no matter what it was you gave. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”