The Western Reserve Academy community recently donated 513 toys to the annual Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program.
WRA began donating to the annual toy drive in 2005. Since that time it has donated more than 4,100 toys to the program.
Members of REACH (Reserve Ethically Advancing Community Health) and the staff of the John D. Ong Library kicked-off the event with a cookie and hot chocolate reception in the library Dec. 5.
REACH members sold candy canes during the week, which, combined with monetary donations, helped the group raise $3,005 that was used to purchase toys to be donated.
The class of 2014 purchased 2,054 candy canes to win a dress down day.
"REACH would like to thank everyone for their generosity," said REACH member Morgan Lightcap, class of 1914. Although the competition gave some motivation, the amount donated is a true reflection of the spirit of the WRA community. Our donation will help so many children have a great holiday and will bring smiles to so many faces."
Staff Sgt. Jose Polanco and Lance Cpl. Kenneth Baggett visited WRA to thank the school for their support and to collect the donated toys.
"There is a softer side of the Marine Corps and it is this right here, taking the community support and trying to get it out to the people who really need it," Polanco said in thanking WRA's students for their efforts.
The toy drive was supported by REACH members Lightcap, Ann Yu '14, Angelle Henkelmann '14, Katie Chlysta '15 and Hannah McKenzie '15; the Pioneer Women's Association, which baked the cookies for the opening reception; the Ong Library staff and Melissa Slager from the admission office.