NY Toys For Tots Kicks Off
By 1st Marine Corps District Public Affairs
| | November 19, 2001
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. --
The United States Marine Corps Toys For Tots program in the New York metropolitan and Long Island area officially kicked off with a ceremony at Nassau Community College in Uniondale, N.Y., Nov. 19.
More than 50 presidents of 50 Chambers of Commerce in the New York metropolitan area, two state senators from Long Island and 10 New York legislators were among the participants in the kick off ceremony. Also helping to start this year's toy drive were more than 100 representatives of fire and police departments in New York City and Nassau County.
Retired Marine Major Chuck Kilbride has helped the local Toys For Tots effort for the past 15 years, and will head it up again this year. Along with the Marines of 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, Kilbride and the Marines hope to ensure every child in the New York/Long Island area has a merry Christmas this season.
"Our mission is to have no child go without a gift or two under their Christmas tree this year," said Staff Sgt. Tony Harden, program representative for the Marine reserve battalion.
For his dedication and support to the annual toy drive Kilbride was made an honorary fire chief by Chief Ray McGuire of the Nassau County Fire Department.
In addition to distinguished members of the community attending this year's commencement ceremony, actor Tony Lobianco (of "French Connection" and "Hoffa" fame) was on hand to lend his support and pop singer and national spokesperson of the Toys For Tots Foundation Janna performed a couple songs for the group.
The ceremony, usually a festive affair, carried a melancholy note this year as the program named three residents of the New York/Long Island area as honorary vice-chairpersons, posthumously.
Karl Anton was publisher and editor of Anton Community newspapers and lent valuable support for the toy drive through advertisements in his publication. His wife Angela accepted the position on his behalf.
Dan Richards was a member of the New York Police Department bomb squad and was killed in the line of duty at the World Trade Center Sept. 11. He was also a huge supporter of the Toys For Tots program in the past. His brother Jimmy, the director of real estate for the Town of Hempstead, accepted the position on his behalf.
Terrance Farrell was a New York City firefighter and was among the more than 300 firefighters killed at the World Trade Center Sept. 11. Accepting the position on his behalf was Farrell's brother Brian, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran.
Toys For Tots is a non-profit charity run by the Toys For Tots Foundation and Marine Corps, and has been providing memorable holiday seasons for less fortunate families who can't afford gifts for their children since 1947. Anyone wishing to make a donation to this year's toy drive can drop off a new, unwrapped toy at their local fire station.
For more information about the Toys For Tots program in the New York metro and Long Island area can call (516) 228-3619.