Marines see big turnout at annual toy drive

Special to the PRESS

The community came out in force Tuesday at Louie’s Backyard on South Padre Island in order to donate Christmas gifts for children in need while enjoying an evening of delicious food and entertainment at the restaurant’s Annual Christmas Party.

The yearly Toys for Tots event is manned by Marines, such as Master Sgt. Rick Gonzalez. Dressed in an immaculate uniform, Gonzalez stood next to a truck being filled with large boxes which overflowed with toys. He greeted patrons arriving at the event who were donating the unwrapped gifts. Those toys will be distributed to area children who might not have a very merry Christmas were it not for the kindness and generosity of spirit of the Laguna Madre community.

Gonzalez spoke about the Marines Corps’ commitment to the cause. “We do this because there’s nothing like the smiles of those kids. They see this truck pull up, they know, they’re so excited. It’s priceless,” he said.

Gonzalez, a 19-year veteran, also commented on his own reasons for participating in this event. “Personally, I love the holidays, this is the best time of year. We don’t get paid any extra for doing this; we do it because it’s for a good cause. It touches me in the heart, because we’re here for the kids,” he said.

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