All records were broken.
On Tuesday, Dec. 15, it was pick-up time for the fifth annual Toys for Military Tots drive sponsored by Orange County Community Radio WTBQ (1110 AM/93.5 FM.)
There had been some concern that donations would be less this year because of the pandemic but that morning there was not an empty space in the station. Every room from floor to ceiling was filled with over $45,000 worth of new toys for the children of our military in Orange County who have served and are serving.
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus sparked this drive five years ago and it has taken on a life of its own by gifting these toys to children of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and of military stationed or deployed from Stewart Air Force Base.
“WTBQ wants to thank all the local businesses and residents who so generously contributed to this year’s bounty,” said Station Manager Taylor Sterling. “If there is an upside to the effects of this pandemic, this toy drive is at the top of the list. As my grandfather always said, ‘out of every bad, good comes.”
Pete and Laura Rollins, who work every day to assist members of the DAV and their families, and MSgt. Sara Pastorello, director of communications at Stewart Air Force Base, will distribute the toys to the children on Christmas morning as they open gifts they never imagined receiving.
WTBQ will share the stories of the children on a Christmas morning special.
The long list of businesses who contributed will be posted on Facebook at WTBQAMFM.
Major contributors include but are not limited to Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, newly elected State Senator Mike Martucci, Town of Monroe Supervisor Tony Cardone, The Nam Knights and their President Pat Rooney, Orange Bank and Trust, Sam’s Meat Warehouse, Repair IT and many more.
“Please take a moment out of your lives to say thanks to all those who contributed and generously donated the toys,” said Sterling. ”A simple gesture of gratitude goes a long way. Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. God Bless us one and all.”
- Roger Gavan