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Toys for Tots kicks off in Eastern Panhandle

November 30, 2008

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Sponsors of the second Toys for Tots campaign in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia celebrated the opening of their headquarters in downtown Martinsburg last week.

"We started a local campaign to ensure that all toys collected in the Eastern Panhandle go to children in the Eastern Panhandle," said Paul Turner of Marine Corps League - Eastern Panhandle Detachment 1143 in a news release.

"We expected 250 children the first year and ended up helping 1,583 children."

Given the economic downturn, Turner expects the 2008 campaign to be challenged by having more requests and less donations.

Turner credited area real estate agent Tim Hafer for helping the local detachment establish the headquarters at 116 W. Martin St.

"We have established a storage and sorting facility, and have set up collection channels over the seven-county area of the Eastern Panhandle," Turner said.

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The Marine Corps League claims nearly 61,000 members, including enlisted Marines and those honorably discharged, according to its Web site. Together, members promote the interests of the military branch and its traditions.

The local detachment filed with Secretary of State Betty Ireland's office in 2005.

Locations of Toys for Tots donation boxes can be found on the Internet at www.toysfortots.org.

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