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Toys For Tots Making Christmas Season Joyful For Every Child

MADERA COUNTY — The 2017 Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign in Eastern Madera County has begun with the placement of toy donation boxes and cash donation jars in over five dozen schools, businesses and agencies.

Dennis Osantowski, in his 4th year as Toys for Tots Coordinator, says that this may be one of the toughest years for the program with all the fires leaving more needy families and children than previous years.

“The Christmas season with Toys for Tots providing new and unwrapped toys for needy children has been happening since its official inception in 1948,” says Osantowski. “It can’t happen without the volunteers and the giving nature of our mountain area residents, businesses and organizations. Every dollar and every toy collected in Eastern Madera County stays in the mountain area to benefit children and families in need – and we gratefully appreciate every donor.”

Last year, around 4,500 toys valued at $50,000 were distributed to nearly 1,200 Eastern Madera County needy children.

This year, three big events bring Toys for Tots to the public – first the KickOff on Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Oakhurst True Value where any toy dropped off or purchased in True Value allows the donor to receive a free toy in the store to increase his or her donation.

There is also the annual RoundUp on Saturday, Dec. 2, of toys at the Oakhurst Old Mill Shopping Center (Vons) and the Historic Village in Coarsegold.

Tents and volunteers will be present in both locations, similar to last year when the Marine volunteers visited with the public, greeted the children with Santa Claus and shared static displays including fire trucks, police cars, Search and Rescue vehicles and much more.

Look for local businesses in Coarsegold, Oakhurst and North Fork who offer money saving specials that benefit Toys for Tots.

Participants include:

  • Queen’s Inn/Idle Hour Winery, is holding a wine tasting on Dec. 1, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Bring a toy(s) worth $20 or a cash donation to taste 10 different wines and light appetizers.
  • Slim’s Koffee Shak in Oakhurst and North Fork accepts cash donations to benefit Toys for Tots and offers a free beverage with any toy donated at their stores.
  • Hallmark sponsors Toys for Tots by donating money for every “Itty Bitty” toy and each Snoopy, Peanuts and Charley Brown ornament sold.
  • Christ Church Women’s Boutique, to be held Nov. 18, at the Masonic Lodge from 9 a.m. to 3 pm., donates a portion of its proceeds.
  • Oakhurst Family Chiropractic, a long time supporter of Toys for Tots, is an official drop-off location and will accept toys from Nov. 19 to Dec. 18. New patients who bring two toys of $10 value each will receive all first day initial office procedures, to include the office evaluation, orthopedic exam, neurologic exam, and if possible, first day treatment. Returning patients will be seen for a single toy ($10 value).
  • Oakhurst Feed on Enterprise Drive is having a sale on Saturday, Nov. 11. Donate a toy and get 10 percent off your purchase.
  • With the toy donation, Northland Cable is deleting the $50 installation fee for new customers purchasing internet service. Contact Karen Bradley or Kathy Harmon at 559-683-7388.

Toys can be dropped off at the Oakhurst CHP Office anytime during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Past participants who donated to Toys for Tots include T.O.P.S., Sullivan’s Tire Pros, Elks Lodge, Road Rattlers Car Club and Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.

“The magic can’t happen without help and assistance from everyone,” says Osantowski. “We can make this a Christmas to remember when those children who might not have one wake up to at least one new toy under the tree.”

Please contact Dennis Osantowski 970-209-2099 with questions on Toys for Tots. Click here to visit the website.

Drop off your toys at any of these locations:

 Ahwahnee:

*Wasuma Elementary School

Bass Lake:

Bass Lake Post Office

Ducey’s

Coarsegold:

*Coarsegold Elementary School

Coarsegold Market

Coarsegold Post Office

Dale’s Creative Hair & Nail Boutique

Hillside Supermarket

Miner’s Grill

*Rivergold Elementary School

Sun Mountain Gun Club

True Value Hardware – YLP

*Yosemite Lakes Community Church

Yosemite Lakes Park Clubhouse

Yosemite Lakes Park Pro Shop

Mariposa:

*Woodland Elementary School

North Fork:

Hair Care Plus

*Grace Community Church

*North Fork Elementary School

Slim’s Koffee Shak

Oakhurst:

Allstate Insurance Agency

Bank of America

CVS Pharmacy

CarQuest

Chase Bank

CHP Office

Dr. Rodney Peter, DDS

Elk’s Lodge

*First Baptist Church

Fresno Flats Christmas Special

Golden Chain Theatre, Dec. 5-6-7

Grocery Outlet

Hallmark/Dorsey’s

Idle Hour Winery

Jamba Juice

Kaiser Permanente

Madera Sheriff’s Sub-Station

*Mountain Home Charter School/Glacier Charter High School

Northland Communications

*Oak Creek Intermediate School

*Oakhurst Elementary School

Oakhurst Family Chiropractic

Oakhurst Giftworks

Oakhurst Library

*Oakhurst Lutheran Church

Oakhurst Post Office

Pak & Page

Pete’s Place

ProFlame Gas Company

Queen’s Inn

Raley’s Market

Sears

*Sierra Pines Church

Sierra Star Newspaper

Sierra Telephone

Sierra Tel Business Systems

Sportsmen’s Den

Sullivan’s TirePros

True Value Home Center

United Security Bank

*Yosemite Alternative High Schools

Yosemite Bank

Yosemite Brokerage

*Yosemite High School

O’Neals:

*Chawanakee Academy

*O’Neals Digital Middle School

*Spring Valley Elementary School

Raymond:

*Raymond-Knowles Elementary School

Wawona:

*Wawona Elementary School

*Schools & Churches – In the interest of safety, only faculty and parents of students and members of the churches should use these toy drop off points.

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