While the Kenai River Brown Bears were starting their longest winning streak of the season by sweeping their arch rivals the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, the U.S. Marines landed at the Soldotna Sports Complex to kick off the holiday Toys for Tots 2016 campaign. Staff Sargent Jonathan Denton, Marine recruiter on the Peninsula has been actively taking friendly, fluffy, fury, fire at Soldotna Regional Sports Complex for the last three years and along with Lance Corp. Cat Brass in a Magnum Motors Humvee were the target for Toys for Tots supporters again this year. “All the cash that we receive from this fund raising event goes to purchase new toys later in the month from local vendors. We actually shop for them ourselves and every toy goes to a young person in the local community and we cover the whole Peninsula,” said SSgt. Denton. “This is our eighth year on the Kenai Peninsula with our local Toys for Tots campaign,” added Johna Beech, who has helped coordinate the drive every year, “We will be accepting toys through December 17th. They have to be new and unwrapped and even though we sell them here to toss at the Marines for prizes, we cannot accept stuffed animals or blankets, only new unwrapped toys. For a complete list of the nearly 50 drop off locations on the Peninsula you can log on to www.toysfortotskenaipeninsula.com,” said Beech.
“I love this event and the U.S. Marine Toys for Tots campaign. It says a lot about those who are serving our country for future generations. What I like best about being a Marine is the comradery and being able to serve my country. It’s been an honor for me to do it and be a part of this toy drive while being around other Marines as well,” said Lance Corp. Brass. Next year SSgt. Denton will be leaving the Peninsula and heading to California to recruit hometown heroes, but says he’s taking his snow shoes with him, “Just as a reminder that I have found the place I want to make my home after I finish my service with the Marines. I’ll be coming home and will always want to be part of the Toys for Tots drive,” said Denton.