By Andrea Swayne
The Western Surfing Association is continuing its seven-year tradition of teaming up with Camp Pendleton Marines to collect gifts for children as part of the surf contest series’ December event.
On Dec. 6 and 7, WSA will hold Event No. 5 of their Championship Tour–which is also the annual Midget Smith Memorial Pier Rat Challenge–at the San Clemente Pier and is asking the assistance of competitors, their families, spectators and others to drop by with a new unwrapped gift for the Marines’ Toys for Tots drive.
The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver a message of hope to needy youngsters who might not receive anything this Christmas through a new, shiny toy that will help motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.
“This is a great opportunity to give back,” said Mary Lou Drummy, WSA executive director. “We are so blessed to live near the beach and have the health and resources to surf. It would be great if surf companies could go through their warehouses and grab any discontinued, promotional or return-to-stock items for donation. Let’s once again show how generous our community of surfers can be.”
Competitors have really gotten into the spirit of giving over the years, each year receiving a commemorative long-sleeve T-shirt from this event in exchange for their toy donations.
Collection boxes will be available at the event site and Marines will be on hand on both days collecting toys and donations from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and members of the public are invited to contribute and watch as surfers of all ages—Micro Groms to Legends—compete.
“We like to involve all communities with our toy drive,” said Deborah Anderson, Toys for Tots coordinator. “We are so excited to partner with WSA again and have our Marines on hand to collect toys at the contest. The Marines are always very excited to participate in this event, which is always one of our most successful collection events.”
Camp Pendleton has a particular need for items that appeal to 10- to 17-year-olds, such as new, unworn items of surf wear, hats, skateboards, bodyboards, gift cards, etc. as well as gifts for babies and toddlers.