Ramonans are invited to participate in Toys for Tots drives in Ramona. Two are slated for next weekend: one at Ramona Airport on Saturday, Dec. 5, and one at the Ramona Adult Softball (RAS) fields on Sunday, Dec. 6.
Since 1947, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program has collected toys to be given to needy children at as Christmas gifts.
Residents may drop off new unwrapped toys at Ramona Airport, 2926 Montecito Road, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 5. Pilots are encouraged to fly in with deliveries.
Last year, despite miserable weather, Marines filled two nine-ton trucks with toys collected at Ramona and Fallbrook airports. Area pilots also flew in from surrounding airports to deliver toys to the Marines.
In addition to the U.S. Marines and Marine Corps vehicles, several aircraft will be on display during the Ramona Airport effort. Fallbrook Airport will hold a similar drive the following Saturday.
The Toys for Tots Drive at the adult softball fields off Elm Street in Ramona Community Park will be held during the Coed Softball Tournament. A drop box for the toys will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Southern California teams are welcome to participate. Each team is guaranteed at least three games. All players will be expected to provide an unwrapped toy for donation with a minimum value of $10.
The deadline to register for the tournament is Thursday, Dec. 4, and the entry fee is $175 per team.
“This will be the third year RAS has hosted a charity tournament to benefit the local Toys for Tots, and each year it’s only gotten bigger,” said Casey Markee, RAS treasurer.
RAS has collected approximately $2,000 worth of gift certificates and prize packages from San Diego County businesses that will be given in opportunity drawings to all tournament attendees.
Marines from USMC Miramar will be at the tournament to collect the toy donations.
Among prizes in the drawings, to be held throughout the day, are San Diego Zoo tickets, weekend stays at the Good Life Resort & San Vicente Inn, softball equipment, movie tickets and horse riding lessons.
Prizes will be awarded to the top upper and lower division winners.
For more information and to register, contact Michele Barrameda at 760-317-8160 or visit www.ramonaadultsoftball.com.