The Toys for Tots week began last Thursday at the hangar for Goodyear, where the world's third-largest tire maker hosted the University of Akron's Driving Opportunity Scholars Program members and their mentors.
The festivities off the shores of Wingfoot Lake continued into Friday, with the official visits from the U.S.M.C. (the Marines are stationed at the joint U.S. Army Reserve Base in nearby North Canton), Santa, Buddy the Elf and Metro RTA; and concluded Saturday with another drive-through drop off involving local car and motorcycle clubs.
The toy drive—the 12th year for the partnership between the Marines and Goodyear—concludes Dec. 10, with collections at the Goodyear blimp bases in California and Florida, Goodyear said. California blimp fans can register for a tour spot at bit.ly/blimptour.
The California Goodyear airship base is located at 19200 S. Main Street, Carson, Calif., 90248. The Florida Goodyear airship base is located at 1500 N.E. 5th Avenue, Pompano Beach, Fla., 33060.
As such, a total number of toys collected this year was not yet known.
"I am comfortable saying that it's on track to be our second-largest donation ever, only behind the unique circumstances of 2020," Daniel Smith, Goodyear airship public relations and logistics specialist, told Rubber News. "We couldn't be prouder of the support from the community and blimp fans all over."
Toys being donated must be new and in the original packaging to be accepted.
"We are excited to once again be able to provide visitors unique access to the Goodyear Blimp for a wonderful cause," said Laura Duda, Goodyear's senior vice president and chief communications officer. "The relationship between the airships, the U.S. Marines Corps and the Toys for Tots Program has continued to grow, and we are thankful we can support children receiving much-needed toy donations during the holiday season."
Collectively, Goodyear and the U.S.M.C. have delivered nearly 200,000 toys and more than $525,000 to benefit Toys for Tots over the dozen-year collaboration.