Christmas in July for Toys for Tots

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Good 4 Utah) - It may be the middle of summer, but it's never too early to start thinking about Christmas, especially when it's for a good cause. The 3rd Annual Toys for Tots Christmas in July Golf Tournament took place Friday.

Dozens of golfers teed off for the event, but for one local marine, he says being involved in the program is much more than just a duty, it's a reminder. “When I was younger I received toys for tots from the marines so it's a really personally time for me,” said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ryan Wilson.

Staff Sgt Wilson celebrated his 9th year as a marine Friday. He says at the age of 7 it was the Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" program that inspired him to serve his country after he and his brothers received their first bike from a real hero. “I just remember getting to have a real Christmas where I got real presents and seeing the marines in their dress blues was all inspiring for me,” said Staff Sgt. Wilson.

This last Christmas over 6,000 children here in Utah were also given the same opportunity Staff Sgt Wilson had, to open a brand new present and have a real Christmas. A Christmas made possible thanks to thousands of donations from the community, which is why the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve is already getting a head start collecting for the holiday season.

“The golf tournament, we call it “Christmas in July” and people bring toys now so that come Christmas time we are ready,” said Sonny Davila a Vietnam Vet who served 10 years with the U.S. Marine Corps

Even though marines don't hand deliver toys to tots like they used to, Staff Sgt. Wilson says knowing these kids are getting them is all that matters. “I know their parents do and to me that is just as fulfilling because the parents are very grateful when they received the toys,” said Staff Sgt Wilson.

To donate to Toys for Tots, contact the Marine Reserve Center at 801.583.1425 x301

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