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NEWS | Jan. 11, 2008

Team Randolph contributes to successful Toys for Tots campaign in San Antonio

By Robert Goetz Wingspread staff writer

Randolph and Lackland Air Force Bases completed a successful Toys for Tots campaign during the holiday season, donating 895 toys to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's annual program. 

Team Randolph donated 787 toys to the cause, while Lackland chipped in with 108. The citywide total was about 45,000 toys. The mission of the program is to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute them as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. 

"I was pleased at the generosity of Team Randolph, retirees and others who contributed," Master Sgt. Michael MacNary, Air Education and Training Command Studies and Analysis Squadron, said. "We collected a lot of quality toys and games. Last year the Air Force total (for Randolph and Lackland) was approximately 528 toys, plus we brought several hundred additional toys down from local collection points in the Randolph Metrocom area because the Marines were busy with collection and distribution." 

Sergeant MacNary and 1st Lt. Kristine Krumpelman represent the Air Force locally at the Marine Corps Reserve's Fourth Reconnaissance Battalion. 

Sergeant MacNary said some Team Randolph units and community organizations collect toys and conduct fund-raising activities to contribute to Toys for Tots. 

"Some squad-rons and flights compete with each other," he said. "This year a Boy Scout troop did this as a community service activity. My squadron volunteers each September at the annual Toys for Tots Triathlon at Canyon Lake, which generates revenue for T-shirts and other items needed to aid in the collections process." 

Sergeant MacNary said Randolph solicits for volunteers at Lackland to place boxes there and periodically checks for toys. Air Force personnel often collect the toys, while the Marine Corps Reserve sends workers to take them to the collection point at Fort Sam Houston. 

Planning for Randolph's Toys for Tots campaign usually begins in August and collection boxes are placed on base in November, he said. 

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is directed by the Marine Forces Reserve commander. Local campaigns are conducted annually in nearly 500 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 

Toys for Tots began in Los Angeles in 1947 and was expanded to a nationwide campaign the next year.