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Season of giving

December 7, 2012

Members of the United States Marines, along with local television host Bob Venturini (in tie). The Marines' Toys for Tots drive attracts many local organizations across the country to provide holiday gifts for those without. Submitted Photo.

WEST WARWICK — The Kent County Jaycees have begun to distribute boxes throughout the community, in partnership with the U.S. Marine Foundation, for their annual Toys for Tots drive.

This program is directed towards providing gifts to toddlers and teenagers for the Christmas holiday.

Jack Lancellotta, Executive Director of the Jaycee Education and Library Foundation, explained that the organization has been working alongside the Marines for 19 years.

He said members of the Jaycees design and put together boxes that will be placed at donation areas in the community.

He said the Marines also supply some labeled boxes as well.

He explained that the Jaycees’ membership searches out locations in West Warwick, Coventry and portions of Warwick.

Lancellotta said the toys that are donated by the public should be new and unwrapped; the Marines will inspect them upon collection.

He said even though the title of the event is Toys for Tots, various items can be donated.

Residents can donate diapers and baby supplies as well.

“We would like the older kids to receive toys as well,” he said. “Sometimes we look at sophisticated games that are not expensive, jewelry, books and games that are more geared toward teenagers.”

He said currently, three to four people are helping the Jaycees for community service.

He said they put the boxes together and designed them as a project.

Last year, the Marines and the Jaycees collected $2,000 worth of toys.

On Dec. 11 from 5 to 9 p.m., Lancellotta said a presentation will be held at the Warwick Mall for the Rhode Island National Guard and U.S. Marines Foundation.

The event coincides with the 19th annual Victor J. Venturni Memorial Toys for Tots Telethon, hosted by Bob Venturini from Bob’s Big Adventures.

“For four hours people from various organizations come through and go up on stage,” he said. “They announce the name of their group and give a little speech about their organization and then they donate their toy.”

He said last year, the Marines left with two trucks full of toys.

For the full story and collection box locations please purchase a copy of the Times.


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