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Toys For Tots Event Excites Mansfield

Members of the Legacy Musical Theatre class perform songs from their play

Yibran Franco

Members of the Legacy Musical Theatre class perform songs from their play "Elf Jr." at the MISD Toys for Tots event on Dec. 6. A record crowd of students, parents, faculty. and children came out to celebrate the giving of 3,583 toys donated by MISD schools.

[Update]

Cool air. The laughter and the joy. Families from all around gathered at The Center for a special event: Toys for Tots. All the schools participated in this event collected a sum of 3,583 toys to deliver to children and families who, unfortunately, can’t afford them.

“Marching forward, marching,” the elementary school choir shouted as people kept piling in and getting closer to setting the new record attendance and a new record for the number of toys brought in.

Few parking spots remained as representatives from each school paraded and marched at the beginning of the event. Performances from the Legacy cheer team to the choirs of the elementary schools continued in sequence throughout the evening. As people kept coming, the toys kept stacking, the school choirs kept singing, the groups kept performing and the community kept having fun.

“And we now welcome to the stage the Legacy High School Show Choir,” the announcer proclaimed as students corralled around the stage outside in the freezing weather. The choir began to sing, “Carolling, Carolling now we go.”

The Toys for Tots initiative brings joy to boys and girls who typically might not get that on Christmas. Even as families walked back to their cars to leave they chatted with each other about the evening’s entertainment.

“It was great,” one of the mothers said. “We really enjoyed it.”

Her daughter chimed in. “I sang too.”

“You did?” I heard you and you were great,” the father of another family responded.

Although the man had not actually heard the girl sing, he put a smile on her face. Toys for Tots is more than an event. It’s having a warm spirit and a snug remembrance of the true meaning of Christmas, giving.

[Dec. 4]

Since 2011, Legacy High School has been collecting toys to donate to Toys for Tots. The annual event, organized by the United States Marine Corps and local volunteers, serves to provide toys to less fortunate children throughout the country. The event will begin Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and includes a wide variety of activities such as pictures with Santa, crafts and pony rides.

[Toys for Tots] gives our district’s a way to help provide for our local community,” Principal Dr. Shelly Butler said. “Children are given an experience that they might not have if it weren’t for the Toys for Tots program. It’s an amazing way to give to someone who has a need.”

Students can drop toys off in the boxes outside the front reception desk, library and all AP offices. As a way to motivate students, Library Aide and this year’s designated Toys for Tots coordinator, Ms. Marcia Lass, arranged to give students a free tardy pass or pajama day pass if they bring a toy over $5.

“Offering an incentive to students sometimes helps peak interest in getting involved in projects like this,” Ms. Lass said. “I want to encourage students to participate in this worthy cause, and getting something in return for donating a toy might help increase participation. I hope it means more toys for the children in our community.”

Dr. Butler hopes to collect more toys than Lake Ridge who has collected more toys than Legacy since 2013 when Lake Ridge collected 2,353 toys and Legacy collected 141. In 2014 Lake Ridge collected 3,344 toys while Legacy only had 465. Lake Ridge gathered 1,768 toys, once again beating Legacy who only had 316 in 2015. And perhaps the worst one of all. In 2016, both Lake Ridge and Legacy had a record year. Lake Ridge with 4,004 toys and Legacy with only 80.

Instead of focusing on competing with Lake Ridge, I would like to see our campus reach our goal of 500 toys,” Ms. Lass said.  “This would show that we are moving in a positive direction. Bronco Nation has a lot of heart, and I know that we will do the best we can to support Toys for Tots and the children of our community.”

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