The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's annual Toys for Tots toy drive begins at 9 a.m. Friday with a drive-through toy station at the Carson Valley Wal-Mart on Topsy Lane.
Uniformed Marines from the Carson City recruiting office along with Toys for Tots Area Coordinators Pat and Dave Wyble (CWO3 Ret.) will collect toys from donors at the south entrance of the store.
KPTL 1300 AM and My Country 99.1 FM radio stations will hold a live remote broadcast from 9 a.m. to noon. Concert tickets to Elvin Bishop performing at Harrah's South Shore Room Saturday; Adbacadabra - an ABBA tribute band at Caesars Tahoe through Dec. 30; and tickets to "The Nutcracker" ballet at the Carson City Community Center for this weekend's performance will be given away to lucky donors.
Afternoon radio personality Monty Wolf will host the remote broadcast.
"This is our second year for the toy drive," said radio station owner Jerry Evans. "Carson Dodge/Chrysler also for the second year will provide a new Dodge truck for us to try to fill up with toys. It's a long-bed truck so the more toys we get the better."
Dave Wyble's goal is 1,000 toys in six hours.
"Why not? We need toys for any age, from newborn to 14 years old, and any gender," he said. "Footballs and basketballs for boys, soccer balls, dolls and makeup kits for the girls. Plus board and educational games."
In western Nevada, Toys for Tots served about 1,800 children in 2004. Phone calls will be taken for those in need of toys for their family from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 5-9. The number to call is 313-7533. It is a Carson City cell phone number.
"Cingular Wireless has donated the phone for us," Dave said. "It will be in effect Dec. 5 through 9 - five days only.
"The line will be busy (for those trying to get on the list)," Wyble said. "But keep trying."
Wyble said they have already spent $5,000 on toys to get the program started. He is hoping the community will be generous and donate enough toys they do not have to purchase more.
"We will also take cash donations at the toy drive," he added.
There are about 15 businesses in Carson City with toy collection boxes. They are also selling "Christmas cutouts," which can be purchased for a minimum $1 donation.
"These are done by the businesses only," said Pat Wyble. "The cutout looks like a green Christmas package with a big red bow and they can put their name on it with whatever donation they want to make."
Businesses with the cutouts include Lowe's, the Grocery Outlet, Family Insurance Store in the Carson Mall, and First American Title.
"It's nice for people to do their shopping and get something extra (for those in need)," said Evans. "A few smaller toys go a lot farther than one large toy."
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program began in 1947 when Major William. L. Hendricks, USMCR, and a handful of Marine reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children on Christmas eve.
n Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1223.
If you go
WHAT: Toys for Tots drive-through toy donation
WHEN: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Carson Valley Wal-Mart south entrance, Topsy Lane
TOY REQUEST PHONE: Dec. 5-9 only. Call 313-7533