The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program will serve families in Moniteau County this Christmas season.
More information will be available in coming weeks, but Moniteau County Coordinator Dan Mesey already has gained community support from several organizations, including the California Area Chamber of Commerce.
At the chamber's meeting Oct. 12, Mesey introduced the toy collection and distribution campaign, which began in 1947 in Los Angeles, California, with a handmade doll. Today, the program reaches more than 700 communities beyond the 50 states.
Less than 80 of Missouri's 114 counties have a campaign.
The program coming to Moniteau County was the result of Mesey's participation in December 2016, when a surplus of toys donated to Cole County were shared with the Cargill Cares Food Pantry.
"That was the best Christmas I've had in 70 years," Mesey said. "When I found out Moniteau County doesn't have this program; it upset me."
After that, Mesey volunteered to be the county coordinator, meeting the Toys for Tots program's heavy set of standards.
The national Toys for Tots organization will provide 500 toys. And the Toys R Us corporation provides $2,000 in store credit to each county.
After that, Mesey said it will be up to local business and individuals to donate money and new-in-the-box toys next month. He assured chamber members that 100 percent of Moniteau County donations stay in Moniteau County.
The chamber donated $500 to the start-up program.
In other business, the chamber:
Listened to Gail Hughes speak in favor of the two county library propositions on the Nov. 7 ballot. Both measures must pass for a public library to exist. The first establishes a county library and the second establishes a 12-cent tax for those who live within Moniteau County and outside the Tipton city limits.
Noted the wheelchair-accessible swing has been installed at Proctor Park. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 18.
Learned the Burney Sisters, Olivia, 12, and Emma, 9, will be the entertainment at the chamber's annual meeting Jan. 27, 2018, at West Ridge Event Center, Centertown.