NETCONG-Surrounded by gifts donated by various groups and individuals for the children of the area, Assemblyman Guy Gregg acted as master of ceremonies for the Toys for Tots celebration held last week at The Growing Stage. The program, which collect donated toys which are later distributed by the Marine Corps to children in need, was launched in 1947 in Los Angeles by a group of Marine reservists and was initiated locally by Gregg eight years ago. The project brought together representatives from every sector of the area's community. Hundred of gifts were donated by area individuals, civic groups such as the American Legion, and local corporations, including the American Water Corporation and Ronetco Supermarkets. Stanhope Mayor Diana Kuncken, a teacher at St. Michael's School, Netcong, presented gifts donated by the children of the school. Meredith Wright, a student at Kittatinny High School organized the project in her school and collected donations from the student body. Those in attendance were treated to several scenes from the musical, "Babes in Toyland," the current production playing at the theatre. Many area civic and political leaders also attended the event, including assemblymen Richard Merkt and Alison McHose, as well as Sussex County freeholders JoAnn D'Angeli, Gary Chiusano, and Susan Zellman. In addition to the toys, Gregg presented Marine Corps representatives with a check for $8,880 collected by his organization. "When people get together, things get done
We hope that people continue to keep giving," said Gregg, a former Marine lieutenant himself. Toys for Tosts is still receiving donations. Toys can be dropped off at the office of Assemblyman Gregg, located at 230 Route 206, Bldg. 2, in Flanders (973-584-5422), or at The Growing Stage. The organization also accepts monetary donations.