Brattleboro area Toys for Kids campaign kicks off

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BRATTLEBORO — It's beginning to look a lot like the time when toys and money are collected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1034.

"This is the kickoff for our campaign for 2016," said Richard B. Hodgdon, past commandant of the Marine Corps League Brattleboro Unit 798.

During a fundraising event Sunday afternoon, the parking lot for the VFW building on Black Mountain Road was filled with cars and the dance floor inside had attendees moving to the music provided by the band Playin' Possum. Raffles were being held to benefit Toys for Kids.

The program ensures gifts for children who "wouldn't have anything under the tree for Christmas," said Hodgdon. More than 300 families throughout the region participated last year, meaning close to 100 kids were served.

Reservations are made by calling the VFW. Toys are organized by age group in the basement of the VFW building. Each child can pick out two toys. Appointments are scheduled five days a week, each one lasting up to 15 minutes.

"Everybody does it privately," Hodgdon said. "No one is allowed in while they do it."

Hodgdon hoped a couple hundred people would come out on Sunday in support of the program. The event was open to the public.

In November, big red barrels will be put up around town.

"That's how we collect toys," Hodgdon said. "We have a lot of businesses donate money or toys."

Brattleboro Auto Mall picks up the barrels in December and brings them to the VFW. The program has been run through the VFW since 1995.

Cub Scouts in Readsboro said they needed about 79 toys for kids last year, according to Hodgdon.

"We worked together just to help them," Hodgdon said. "We try to get to as many people we can so they don't fall through the cracks."

Call Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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