This yearís Toys for Tots campaign was the most successful to date. We were able to collect well over 1,000 new toys for needy children in our area and the donations are still arriving daily. Working with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and local businesses over the last four years, we have been able to provide hundreds of toys for children throughout the community.
The annual toy drive produces dozens of stories from individuals all over New York who care so much and it makes me truly proud to call myself a resident of our fine community. This year, one of those standouts is from our own Seneca Falls Police Chief Frederick Capozzi and the Seneca Falls Police Department who donated over 20 bicycles to the Toys for Tots drive not because he had to, but because he felt compelled to help others in his community. I cannot help but smile when I think of the joy 20 fortunate children felt on Christmas morning when they received those bikes.
Initiated in 1947 by Marine Reserve Maj. Bill Hendricks, Toys for Tots quickly became the nationís flagship Christmas endeavor. Since its inception, the Marines have distributed over 300 million toys to more than 151 million needy children. Today, the Marine Corps Reserve collects and distributes, on average, 10 million toys to 5 million children Ė each year.
I think it is important during this season of giving not only to remember those who need our help, but also those who provide the help. The people who help fill the needs of others are truly the champions of our community, they truly are the ones who give the holidays the feelings of joy and hope. As always, I appreciate the help we received this year and past years. I also look forward to your future support for those in our community who are not as fortunate.
Again, thank you for your support, and I wish you all very happy holidays and a safe, happy New Year!