Banquet honors Toys for Tots volunteers, recognizes Safyre Terry

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – While recognizing the hard work it took to organize and sort thousands of toys, Capital Region Toys for Tots also introduced a new addition to the team for next season.

A banquet was held Thursday night to show appreciation for the Toys for Tots volunteers that delivered toys to nearly 120,000 children in the Capital Region.

“Really the mission for us is the same,” Toys for Tots Capital Region Asst. Coord. Patrick Lurenz said. “We were given a mission, and we completed it. Not one child that needed a toy this year went without.”

The gunnery sergeants in charge of the non-profit’s maneuvers in the Capital Region said their volunteers are the foundation of their continued success.

sa'fyre miss toys for tots jan 2016

Also making a surprise appearance was Safyre Terry. The young girl was welcomed with a standing ovation. She was crowned Miss Toys for Tots for next year’s giveaway season.

“Yes, she has received and she has helped, but now it’s our turn to help,” Toys for Tots Capital Region Coordinator Gunnery Sgt. Albert Roman said. “We wanted to partner with her so that she can start giving back to the community and show them that as we give we receive. And it’s all one big, happy community; one big happy family.”

Safyre has become a household name around the world. She was the sole survivor of a 2013 arson that took the lives of her father and three siblings.

She requested cards to fill a card tree this past Christmas, and to date, she has received two million, cards, letters and gifts from around the world.

Most recently, the volunteer group helping to organize her gifts, donated some items to families that were victimized by recent fires.

At the banquet, awards were given to the volunteers who went above and beyond what was normally asked of them. Over dinner, people exchanged stories about their efforts and got to see just how wide of a support system Toys for Tots has in the Capital Region.

“It’s kind of nice to sit back with everybody and just talk to them on a personal level,” Clifton Park Halfmoon Ambulance volunteer Christina Frangella said. “It’s just a nice time to take a breath.”

Both gunnery sergeants said they would take a month off and then get back to work planning for the next season with Safyre as a major part of the team.

Click, HERE, if you want to donate your time or resources to Toys for Tots.

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