Walters Brothers Gives More Toys ... For Tots

Dec 13, 2016

Marine Sergeant Raheem Mentor poses with Santa at the Walters Brothers Harley-Davidson store Tuesday before he and his team load out the large Toys For Tots donation.
Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

 U.S. Marines Corp Reservists from Peoria loaded toys on their truck Tuesday at Walters Brothers Harley-Davidson. Santa helped. The Marines coordinate the Toys for Tots campaign.

The military supply truck that arrived at Walters Brothers picked-up roughly 1,200 toys. Walters Brothers’ Stann Wiebler says they started raising donations for the toy drive with a charity ride the first week in November.

Members of the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves based in Peoria help load the toys at Walters Brothers Tuesday.
Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

  “We kind of kick the season off a little early here, so we can have a longer period to collect toys. They do a poker run and raise funds that way. Then we collect toys all through the season. We also give incentives for people to bring toys in and give them to us,” Wiebler said.  

Peoria based Marine Sergeant Raheem Mentor says the event generates a lot of seasonal joy. “December 20th through the 22nd is the actual party. That’s when we put all the toys on the tables and we have the families come through and do shopping for the kids. On those three days there are a lot of tears, a lot of smiles and that’s just a really good thing for us to see.”

  

The U.S. Marine Corp Reserves military supply truck arrives at Walters Brothers Harley-Davidson in Peoria Tuesday to pick up more toys for the annual Toys for Tots event.
Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

  Sgt. Mentor says people signed-up for the Toys for Tots event through the website and the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army partners with Marines to make Toys for Tots happen.

In addition to Walters Brothers a number of other area organizations and businesses participate in collecting toys for the Marine’s Toys for Tots event. Sherman’s,  Bass Pro and Toys R Us also make significant contributions to the annual toy drive.