Toys for Tots Receives Oktoberfest Fun Run/Car Show Donation


Lopez (R) Receives Check from Lonna Cook (L) at Chamber Offices.  Also pictured L-R - Ron Cook, Vickie Dykes, Michelle Crown, Mark Carrigan, Jenna Davis, Lisa Carder, Lisa Thomas

Lopez (R) Receives Check from Lonna Cook (L) at Chamber Offices

Darlene Lopez came $2,438 closer to her Toys for Tots goal with a donation from Rod and Lonna Cook on Monday, November 24, at the Lamar Chamber offices.  The funds were generated from the Fun Run Bike and Car show held during Oktoberfest last month.  “It’s about the same figure as we donated from the year before,” said Cook.

This year’s 18th Annual Fun Run Car & Motorcycle Show donates the entry fees to the Toys for Tots drive in Prowers County.  A morning Poker Run also asks for either toy or cash donations to defray the costs of the annual holiday drive.

Lopez said she raised around $7,000 last year in cash donations, “Most of that is used to buy the hams and a gift certificate for the families.  I used to give out $20 certificates, but now you can’t buy a full holiday meal for a family on that amount.”  She said she spreads out the amount of the certificates based on the number of families in need, sometimes from $40 to $50 a family.  The certificates are redeemable at Thriftway in Lamar and Reyman’s in Holly.  Lopez said, “They give me a 10% discount on the foods that we purchase.”

With Christmas about a month away, Lopez and her team starts to race against the calendar, even though they collect toys all year long.  “Our toy sorting day will be on the 20th, so we need all the toy donations in to the Lincoln School by Saturday, the 13th,” she explained.  This is the first year that the drive is headquartered at the former elementary school on North 10th Street.  Lopez and her volunteers are on hand, sorting and collecting toys, Monday through Thursday from 6pm to 9pm.

“I hope to see the collections start to pick up by December 1st,” Lopez stated, “But we’re still throwing away broken and dirty toys that we just can’t give away to a kid the day before Christmas.”  She said the 10 to 15 age bracket is the hardest to get gifts for, especially boys.  “We’ll accept colognes or some toiletry items, but we don’t take any clothing at all and we ask that people don’t gift wrap any of the toys as we have to unwrap them to see who they could go to,” Lopez said.  She added that the Colorado State Patrol helped out last year with their “Pack the Cruiser” drive at the Lamar Wal-Mart and another was planned for Friday, November 28 between 7am and 3pm.

Volunteer drivers will be needed on Wednesday, December 24th to distribute the collected toys at Lincoln School.  To help sort toys, distribute them or to make a donation, contact Darlene Lopez at 688-0167.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Chamber/Local BusinesscommunityCountyEconomyEventsFeaturedHollyLamarProwers CountyYouth

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