Marines launch toy drive |

Marines launch toy drive

Aspen Times writer
Wendy Tennis, left, and Jordan Dann of Aspen Theatre in the Park carry a box of toys as retired Lt. Col. Dick Merritt watches Wednesday after the kickoff of the Marine Corps' annual Toys for Tots program. Aspen Times photo/Mark Fox.

The U.S. Marine Corps are on a mission in the Roaring Fork Valley – to collect toys for tots.

Since 1947, Marines have collected and distributed over 313 million toys to about 151 million children. On Tuesday, they began their annual collection effort in the valley. By Christmas morning, Marine Corps Reserve units will have delivered about 10 million toys to 5 million children around the country.Major sponsors for this year’s Toys for Tots are the Aspen Elks Lodge #224, the Rotary Club of Snowmass Village and the Basalt Lions Club.

Collection boxes for new, unwrapped toys are located at the following locations:In Aspen and Snowmass Village, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Aspen Fire Station, American National Bank, Alpine Bank, Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 21-23) and the Snowmass Village Fire Station.

In Basalt, collection boxes are at: FedEx, Big O Tires, Midland Avenue Depot, Basalt Town Hall, Bucky’s Rotisserie, Camp Chip-A-Tooth and Thomasville Fire Department. Toy distribution will be on Saturday, Dec. 18, at Basalt Community Methodist Church from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In Carbondale, boxes are at Camp Chip-A-Tooth and the Carbondale Fire Station. Toy distribution is set for Dec. 18 at the Carbondale Fire Station from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.