MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point hosted the Toys for Tots Nine Pin No Tap Bowling tournament Friday to collect toys for underprivileged children during the holiday season.
The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is run by Marines from installations around the world and collects thousands of toys each year.
“The Eastern North Carolina Toys for Tots program is very successful,” said Staff Sgt. Vincent Silicia, the local coordinator at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejuene. “In 2009, we distributed 60,000 toys to 12,000 families. The community comes out and supports Toys for Tots because they know it’s a good cause run by a good organization.”
Toys for Tots has helped provide needy children with toys during the Christmas holidays since 1948, and every year military members and civilians alike still donate to the cause. Events like the Cherry Point bowling tournament help bring more awareness to the program and its mission.
“Bowling was a fun time, and there were a lot of people there,” said Lance Cpl. Kalab Stowers, an intelligence analyst with Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4. “They were having a good time for a good cause.”
A total of 96 bowlers and 30 spectators donated toys Friday, bringing in nearly 160 toys for the charity.
The teams were comprised of Marines, Sailors, retirees and civilians from around the Cherry Point area. According to Jim Sharp, the bowling center manager, most of the participants seemed to understand the hard economic position some people are in and just wanted to help any way they could.
“For kids who don’t have a Christmas, we’re going to give them a Christmas,” said Sharp. “With times being the way they are this year, there’s quite a few more needy kids out there, and I hope we can put a toy in every one of their hands.”