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CCS takes pride in helping Toys for Tots

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By Amy Ryffel-Kragh

“Toys for Tots is my thing,” said Ginnie Wise, project director assistant at CCS Mechanical Inc. For the last couple of years she has coordinated the business’ efforts in collecting toys for the United States Marine Corps annual toy drive.

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The company contributed 1,566 toys last Christmas, which totaled about $17,000. They donated more toys than anyone else in Marion County, with the help of the community. “They take pride in it,” said Jim McCarthy, liaison for Marion County Toys for Tots and member of Ocala West Detachment 1072.

For the substantial donation to charity, McCarthy and Peter Stern, Marion County Toys for Tots coordinator and Ocala West Detachment member, recently presented the mechanical system’s business with a plaque.

To raise the money and toys,  Wise solicited help from vendors, friends and family. “Ginnie’s done a fantastic job,” said her father, Louie Wise, Jr., who owns the business.

She gave each contributor the option of donating a toy, money or a Toys R’ Us gift card. Once everything was collected the office closed early and the staffers headed over to the toy store to buy gifts.

In addition, CCS Mechanical gathers toys at its annual Christmas party at Easy Street Family Fun Center. In order to get into the employee party, they had to bring a gift.

In November, the Ocala West Detachment will host its annual golf tournament at Royal Oaks Golf Club in Oak Run. The proceeds from the event benefit Marion County Toys for Tots. Last year, they raised about $2,000 and Stern is hoping to triple it this year.

Marion County Toys for Tots gave away more than 18,000 toys last year, which were given to approximately 6,000 Marion County children. Other businesses that contributed substantially to the charity were Bart Blessing State Farm, Dr. Stephen Paige, and Royal Oaks Golf Club.

E-mail staff writer Amy Ryffel-Kragh at akragh@riverlandnews.com.