The below is passed from Keith & the U.S. Marine Corps on behalf of his Toys 4 Tots event.
Frank's Message first--which reflects the feelings of a large part of our club membership, I'm sure.
I would like to pass along my thoughts, and feelings on the event. I was late getting there as my wife has to drive me for the next several weeks (6 or less I hope).
Not having any children of my own, I never gave a great of thought to the Toys For Tots program, only that it was a Marine Corps. project. Well, Saturday, November 17 as I was observing the crowd around me, and especially the Marines there, and the enthusiasm I had a chance to think about the program, and what it really means.
Something said to me, "Frank, do you remember Christmas morning, as a child, and opening presents?" Vividly, I said to myself. Then is when I could picture a child rushing to the Christmas tree with sparkling eyes to see what Santa Claus brought. Only to see nothing but an empty space, and the sparkle changing to tears. I could not conceive of such a situation, having been fortunate to have parents who managed to see to it that Santa did not forget me.
When I saw the Marines load the boxes of toys on the CH-46, and take off, I closed my eyes and said "Thank you GOD for making sure at least some children won't be disappointed on Christmas morning." That day changed the way I look at kids and Christmas. Just as important is how much more pride I have in Hampton Roads RC.
When a person decides to join us, they don't join a club, they become a member of a family.
To all, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank everybody who
attended the 1st HRRC Toys For Tots Fly In on Saturday. Without your
generosity, this event would not have been as big as it was! The event was
a huge success with almost $1400.00 in cash raised and 134 toys collected!
A special thanks goes to all the members that donated their time to ensure
this event went smoothly. The members were David Cokley working impound; at
last tally we had about 45 registered pilots and the impound rack was
overflowing with transmitters! Next was Jim Maguire who registered the
pilots and twisted the arms to achieve a record amount of raffle tickets
sold. On the grill was Jim Harrell, Alex and Betty Lymber who managed to
feed everybody with what seemed like hundreds of pounds of chow and also
collect a record amount of money from the food donations. Bob Howell with
his persuading personality worked hard to get outside support for the event
and assisted with the arm twisting to have people "dig deep" with the
donations. Bob Swain and the members of the air show team put on a great
performance for the crowd which I have guesstimated at 250+ bodies! Henry
Cahoon was a great help in doing the pilot briefing and running the trainer
aircraft and any other admin tasks that needed accomplishing (and believe me
there were a lot.), and last but not least, my wife Nancy who helped me get
everything ready before the event and keep my head screwed on straight. I'm
sure I probably have forgotten to mention somebody and for that I will
apologize up front. Again, thanks for all the support from the greatest RC
flying club in Hampton Roads and I look forward to setting this event up