Troops battle gift shortage for Carson kids | NevadaAppeal.com

Troops battle gift shortage for Carson kids

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal U.S. Marines from the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., wait for a train ride with their families at the Nevada State Railroad Museum on the opening day of the Toys for Tots toy drive on Friday.
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More than a dozen U.S. Marines and two sailors came to Carson City on Friday on behalf of Toys for Tots.

“We’re here for the kids,” said New Jersey’s Sgt. Frank Cavalieri who is now stationed at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif.

For five hours the volunteers stood outside the Douglas County Wal-Mart, posing for pictures and talking to people in the hopes that when shoppers exited a toy would be dropped in the barrel for Toys for Tots.

They were not disappointed, said Cpl. Tony Poteet of Brooklyn.

“People were very generous,” he said. “Some people walked out and handed us bikes.”

A Marine Corps Reserve program started in 1947, Toys for Tots in Carson City is represented by active-duty Marines from the base 83 miles south.

Poteet and Cavalieri volunteered along with their comrades from MWTC: Sgt. Mark Wade of Maryland; Lance Cpl. Elijah Jackson of Chicago, Sgt. Ashley Coldwell of Arizona, HM3 Brian Tater of Colorado, HM1 Toby Hernandez of Houston, Lance Cpl. Jordan Christensen of Pierre, S.D., Cpl. Scott Henyson of Chicago, Lance Cpl. Andres Benavides of Corpus Christi, Texas, Sgt. Otis Gordon of Oceanside, Calif., Lance Cpl. Damon Carr of Baltimore, Cpl. Charles Camacho of North Carolina, Gunnery Sgt. Larry Leichty of Oakland and Sgt. Maj. Michael Redmyre originally of Philadelphia.

Civilian coordinator Valerie Perkins said all the items collected by her volunteers will benefit 2,500 needy children in Carson City identified through the Ron Wood Family Resource Center. Through Dec. 21, unwrapped, new gifts can be dropped off at 21 locations around the capital city.

On Friday, Bret Bellard put some toys into a barrel at the Nevada State Railroad Museum and received free tickets to the ride the train. Bellard said he visits the museum once a month because his 4-year-old son, Jackson, loves it.

“This is a way to ride the train and help kids who don’t have toys,” he said.

Today the ticket fee will also be waived in exchange for toys, said Rich Reitenauer, sales and promotions manager for the museum. And though the free ride ends today, the museum will continue to be a drop-off center for Toys for Tots through the end of the drive.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.

Who to call

WHAT: Toys for Tots

WHO: Miriam Sills

CALL: 443-7072

’06 Toys for Tots Carson City drop-off locations

during individual business’ hours:

North

• Harley-Davidson 2749 N. Carson St.

• Les Schwab Tires Center, 3219 N. Carson St.

• United Blood

Services, 256 E. Winnie Lane

Wal-Mart, 3200 Market St.

South

• Toyota, 3659 S. Carson St.

• Applebee’s, 3300 S. Carson St.

• Carson Lanes bowling center, 4600 Snyder Lane

Casino Fandango, 3800 S. Carson St.

• Les Schwab Tires Center, 3020 S. Carson St.

• Wal-Mart, in the Clear Creek

shopping center

• Nevada State Railroad Museum, 2180 S. Carson St.

East

• Carson City Library, 900 Roop St.

• Piñon Plaza, 2171 Highway 50 East

• SlotWorld, 3879 Highway 50 E.

Central

• First American Title, 1213 S. Carson St.

• Grocery Outlet, 1831 N. Carson St.

• The Timbers, 124 E. Eight St.

• Dr. Getas Office, 631 N. Division St.