Toys for Tots drive kicks off at AC Expressway Service Plaza
All of the toys collected this week will be transported from the AC Expressway Farley Service Plaza to Atlantic City by an army of Corvettes driven by Corvette lovers from all over the area and from as far away as Virginia, Maryland and Connecticut, said Harry Boyer, organizer of Kerbeck's Annual AC Toys for Tots Corvette Run.
Boyer was joined by Philip Uecker, Atlantic County coordinator for Marine Corps Toys for Tots, who said that more than 10,000 toys were collected in Atlantic County last year, Tommie Sanders, Vice President/General Manager of HMS Host, which operates the Farley Service Plaza for the South Jersey Transportation Authority, and officials from the South Jersey Transportation Authority.
Uecker said the campaign had grown significantly in recent years as a result of partnerships with businesses and organizations like Kerbeck - which has sponsored the Corvette Run for three years -- and HMS Host, the operator of the Farley Service Plaza and McNaughton Garden Center, of Somers Point, which donated holiday decorations for the event.
"The generosity of people in this area is just overwhelming," said Uecker. "People recognize that there are always people in need and they want to help."
Boyer credited staff from the South Jersey Transportation Authority, working closely with State and local police, with helping to map out the logistics presented by the huge Corvette Run. "It is an exciting and heart-warming event and everybody involved just rolls up their sleeves and helps out," said Boyer.
Sanders urged motorists to stop in the Service Plaza this week to drop off unwrapped toys for children and teens in the convenient Toys for Tots collection boxes located just inside the service plaza. HMS Host, whose employees have already contributed dozens of gifts to the campaign, also plans keep the collection boxes available through the holiday season.
“We want to be there in any way we can for the local community,” said Sanders.
SJTA Executive Director Iannone, who personally deposited several children's gifts into the collection boxes said: "SJTA is always willing and able to do whatever we can to contribute to our community. What could be better than a program that brings holiday cheer to countless thousands of children and teens?"