Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

September 25, 2009

Toys for Tots

Gates honored for taking toys seriously

VALDOSTA — John Gates, region coordinator for Valdosta’s annual Toys for Tots campaign, was recently awarded the region II Coordinator of the Year Award and Founders Medallion by the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation.

Gates was selected from among 180 competing local campaigns.

Gates received a letter on Sept. 18 from Lt. Gen. Pete Osman, president and chief executive officer of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, thanking him for a job well done. According to the letter, Gates conducted his campaign “in an exemplary fashion.”

The letter goes on to state: “Your campaign brought the joy of Christmas and a message of hope to a record number of needy children throughout the Valdosta ... area. This is an accomplishment you can look upon with great pride.”

In addition to the two awards, Gates was invited to lunch with Osman in the Maple Room of the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.

“It’s not every day you get to have lunch with the general,” he said.

Gates said his campaign served approximately 84,321 kids in region II, which includes seven states and Puerto Rico. Only four regions competed for the 2008 award, but a fifth region has since been added. Gates said he is humbled by the award.

“If it weren’t for all the communities I work with, I could not have received the awards. I received them on behalf of every donor out there. It’s not me. An individual can’t do this program.”

Gates explained a little of the history behind the Toys for Tots Foundation.

“Major Hendricks started Toys For Tots in 1947,” he said. “In 1947 his wife made a Raggedy Ann doll and also the clothes to go on it. She gave it to Bill who was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps and told him to go downtown and find a charitable organization that would give the doll to a child who would not have a Christmas otherwise. So he went down and he looked and looked, but he couldn’t find one. So he came back and told his wife, and she told him, ‘Well, start one.’ So he did.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Jim Zachary Mug shot.jpg Zachary named The Valdosta Daily Times’ editor

    Veteran newspaper editor Jim Zachary has assumed the editor’s chair at The Valdosta Daily Times.
    During the past two decades Zachary has been one of the most decorated community newspaper journalists in Georgia and Tennessee.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728-griner001.jpg Griner takes oath

     Surrounded by family, friends, and fellow commissioners, Clay Griner took the oath of office Monday morning as the Lowndes County Super District 5 commissioner.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728-man_hunt001.jpg Dump truck thieves sought

    Authorities continued searching for suspects Monday evening connected to a stolen dump truck involved in a chase with law-enforcement.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • City workers strike natural gas main

    A gas leak evacuated a neighborhood Monday when workers struck a natural gas main.

    July 29, 2014

  • education.jpg Desegregation status approved

    Forty-three years after an initial lawsuit was filed to force the system to desegregate, Valdosta City Schools has officially been approved for “unitary status.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ARociewilliams_002.jpg Woman shares nearly a century of lessons

    With nearly 100 years of life under her belt, Ocie Viola Williams has plenty of advice to share with the world. Her top two pieces of advice: know the importance of education and don’t expect a teacher to raise your child for you. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • psst1 photo page copy.jpg PSST! finishes peachy season

    Peach State Summer Theatre concluded its 2014 season Sunday, a season which broke attendance records for the professional musical theatre company.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_2381.jpeg Award-winning young professionals share success secrets

    The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber’s MetroOne Young Professionals hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn to highlight successful business practices.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140726_summerlibrary002.jpg Library celebrates end of summer reading program

    With the first day of school just around the corner, students are soaking in the last few weeks of summer vacation. The end of summer also means the end of the South Georgia Regional Library’s 2014 summer reading program.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • artseason1 copy.jpg A sneak peek at some area arts organizations’ 2014-15 seasons

    Beethoven. Tennessee Williams. Non-stop art. Two versions of “The Wizard of Oz.” The 2014-15 arts season is coming.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results