A Gresham service club went the extra mile during its annual holiday social — garnering hundreds of donated toys to be passed along to children in need of a bit of cheer on Christmas.
The Gresham Breakfast Lions Club collected more than 300 toys to be given to Toys for Tots, a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, during an end-of-year gathering Thursday evening, Dec. 2, at Persimmon Country Club, 500 S.E. Butler Road.
"We didn't want to just get together to eat food," said Steve Solcz, a 15-year member and former president. "By being with each other and collecting all these toys for kids — it's a win-win."
The 50 Breakfast Lions and guests who went to the dinner, which had been delayed for the past two years with the pandemic, each brought a gift to be given to a local youth over the holidays. In addition Persimmon did more than just host — club leadership had members and the nearby Home Owners Association donate toys as well.
"Persimmon has been great about helping put this all together and reaching out to more people to donate," Solcz said.
All together enough toys to fill eight big boxes, each 4 cubic feet in size, were given to Toys for Tots. That nonprofit organization will then distribute the toys to children whose parents cannot afford gifts over the holiday.
"These toys could be the only thing some kids get for Christmas," Solcz said.
Toys for Tots was founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks, and has since distributed 604 million toys. Learn more and donate at toysfortots.org
The Breakfast Lions were established locally in 1980, and have many charitable interest. The group collects eye glasses from the community to be cleaned and evaluated; offers scholarships to local high school students, gives American flags to first graders in the Gresham-Barlow School District, maintains a one-mile section of Burnside Street, and provides food baskets and gifts to families on Christmas.
Gresham Breakfast Lions
The service group meets weekly at 7 a.m. on Thursdays at the M & M Restaurant & Lounge, 137 N. Main Ave. Learn more on Facebook @GreshamBreakfastLions
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