Reliable sources report that Santa is very pleased with his helpers on the Kenai Peninsula this year. Last year the annual Toys for Tots campaign set a new record for toys and cash contributed to buy toys, so even with an economic down turn in Alaska there was nothing to do but shatter that record with an all-new joyful one. “It has been an absolute amazing year!” reported Johna Beech, who coordinates the local Toys for Tots campaign along with U.S. Marine recruiter SST Jonathon Denton. “We spent over $4,000 in our toy buy at Walmart this year, where JJ the store manager gave us an additional 10% off on our purchases and all their employees were such a great help to us. The cash buy allows us to fill in the age gaps in the toys that are dropped off. Our two big money raisers are the Brown Bear hockey game where the Marines come under friendly, furry, fluffy fire to win prizes by hitting the Humvee on the ice and our Shots for Tots hosted at Main Street Bar & Grill this year. This year the Toys for Tots – Kenai Peninsula, Alaska campaign collected 2,371 toys! Sooooooo many Thank you’s for making 2015 a record breaking year…. Our Marines, the 2015 Drop Locations, Kenai River Brown Bears, Main St Tap & Grill, Kenai River Brewery, Jake Arness, Magnum Motors, Walmart, my volunteers- Dawni Marx, Penny Furnish, and huge shout out to Cassandra Winslow for handling drop off and pickups! Also helping along the way were Kathy Hammer, Dawn Murray, Yvonne Oren, Jeff Livingston, Tony Gorman, Jennifer Dye, Pepper Burnett, Michelle Burnett, Camille Sorensen, & 2015 Miss Alaska High School Sophie Sorensen,” said Beech.
Toys for Tots distribution was handled through the Salvation Army where parents in need could actually select and wrap the gifts. All toys went to making a merrier Merry Christmas for local families in need on the Kenai Peninsula according to Beech.