|Toys for Tots Gala Evening Event Raises an Impressive Cache for the Kids
Jerry Lafferty - PVNN
December 23, 2010
The Marriott CasaMagna Resort was all a buzz with excitement and enthusiasm this past Sunday, December 19 in celebration of the 12th Annual Toys for Tots gala dinner/dance where 220 devoted supporters enjoyed a thoroughly enchanting evening. With more than 200,000 ps. raised, including an outstanding silent auction and raffle, the participants gave freely while receiving many valuable and fun filled prizes. This Christmas program, which gives toys to some of Puerto Vallarta's less fortunate children, is one of PV's most cherished and anxiously-awaited projects.
To top it all off, towards the end of the evening one of the guests, Dean Regehr, stepped forward to announce that his company, Rivercity ATM, is donating 50,000 ps., for not only this year but future years as well. Dean joins other major sponsors, including the Marriott, Vista Vallarta Golf Club, Toyota and TaylorMade-Adidas in assuring that nearly 100% of funds raised go directly to buying toys. Thank you Dean!
Combined with the 150,000 pesos raised the prior week at our hugely successful golf outing, Toys for Tots will have nearly 400,000 pesos with which to purchase toys this year. That means more than 7,000 smiles will be seen on the faces of kids in our area that would likely not receive any fun gifts this holiday season. Toys will be distributed by 12 caravans fanning out throughout the Bahia on January 10, the first school day following Three Kings Day. All are welcome to join in the fun by showing up at the Marriott parking lot by 8 am on January 10. You won't regret it. You'll not only be spreading joy to these disadvantaged kids, but seeing parts of our region you would not normally get a chance to experience. It's quite an adventure.
The local Toys for Tots program is run jointly by the Navy League and the Marriott. It's part of a worldwide program operated by the U.S. Marine Corps. To signify this connection, each year a young Marine from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is invited as a special guest at the dinner. This year, Sgt. Mike Troester joined in and thoroughly enjoyed meeting Toys for Tots supporters from not only Mexico but the U.S., Canada, and many other countries.
We truly are a diverse city, joining together for the common good of all our citizens and neighbors, importantly including our future - the children.
In these difficult times, it's more important than ever to open our hearts and pocket books for the less fortunate neighbors around us. The number of golfers this year was up nearly 100% from year ago, and the dinner/dance saw an increase of about 20%. These impressive numbers say a lot about the generosity of the wonderful people who call PV their home.