It’s Toys for Tots time [Northeast Times]

[Originally posted by the Northeast Times Oct. 25, 2023]

The local Toys for Tots campaign kicked off last week outside Mission BBQ, 11000 Roosevelt Blvd.

“We are looking forward to a tremendous year,” said Anne Marie Muldoon, owner of Avenue Chiropractic, 6233 Frankford Ave., and Toys for Tots coordinator since 2010.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Thomas Kane got the event underway by leading the crowd in the national anthem.

Muldoon said more than 50,000 toys were distributed last year. People are also able to donate cash, to be used to buy toys, using a QR code.

This year’s effort, at the U.S. Marine Corps level, is being led by Staff Sgt. Michael Gaskin.

The warehouse will again be in Bristol, although the public is encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped toys at boxes placed at businesses.

City Councilman Mike Driscoll presented a citation to Jen Cassidy, who runs the warehouse.

Cassidy received a plaque from Charlie Trainor, past commandant of the Marine Corps League All Divisions Detachment 281.

Declan Cassidy, her son, has assumed the new position of youth ambassador.

Muldoon said young volunteers are welcome, and community service hours will be awarded. She said more toys are needed than ever due to the rising cost of living. Driscoll said many families need help, especially those who have lost a job or experienced an unexpected event.

Others at the event included state Sen. Jim Dillon; mayoral candidate David Oh; Mark LaVelle, a candidate for sheriff and longtime supporter of Toys for Tots; Donny Smith, executive director of the Mayfair Business Improvement District; Shannon Sperduto, community ambassador for Mission BBQ; members of the police SWAT team; and Leatherneck 3, an English bulldog and mascot for the Marine Corps League.

For more information, visit or go to the Toys for Tots pages on Facebook and Twitter.

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