Cortland, Ohio -- Marines from Detachment 3 Maintenance Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 453 held their 3rd Annual Toys for Tots 5K race at Imagination Station Park in Cortland, Ohio, Sept. 29.
“This race is our kickoff to the Toys for Tots donation season,” said Sgt. Modesto Montano, Supply Chief from Livingston, Calif. and Toys for Tots coordinator for CLB 453., which is based out of Vienna, Ohio.
Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marines Corps Reserves that donates toys to underprivileged children throughout the United States. This program has been providing Christmas gifts for unfortunate youths since 1947.
The race brought on 32 runners and over 50 spectators, in an event that brings the Marines and the community together for a good cause.
“This is something that we should have been doing for many many years. We should be out here supporting the military and the things that they are doing,” said Steve Belcher, Park Board Chairman in the city of Cortland. “It’s a great way to connect with our military. We hear about what our military has going on in the news and stuff, but I think we tend to forget that these men and women are in our communities and are a part of us. What better way to unite with our local Marines than in support of Toys for Tots.”
Marines from Recruiting Station Cleveland were also there to ensure that the event made an impact on the community and helped those intended to benefit from the program.
“It’s what Marines do,” said Sgt. Todd Schuller, recruiter from Permanent Contact Station Warren and Youngstown, Ohio native. “Having once been a reservist myself, I know the Toys for Tots very well and can definitely see the good behind it. I have a very good working relationship with the Marines out here, so anything I can do to help with this, I’ll do it.”
This year, registered runners received a commemorative shirt and top finishers in four divisions received medals.
“It is my hope that when we do this again next year, we will have well over a thousand runners and even more spectators,” said Belcher. “It’s about the kids and supporting our military. We should all be involved.”
The donation season for Toys for Tots runs from October through Christmas each year. The Marines have approximately 300 boxes for donations in both Trumball and Mahoning Counties.
For more information about how and where to donate, please visit the website at www.toysfortots.org.