Toys for Tots fundraiser makes good on rain or shine pledge

People attending the Toys for Tots Poker Run listen to the band Boat Trash at Daiquiri & Company Saturday. The poker run was canceled for the first time in the 13-year history of the event held by the Marine Corps League St. Mary Detachment 600 because of stormy weather. The Marines continued serving dinners.
 
By HARLAN KIRGAN
 The Marine Corps League made good on its vow to hold its annual fundraiser for Toys for Tots Saturday rain or shine.
The food and music continued, however, the annual poker run was called due to stormy weather for the first time in 13 years, Bill Goesel, Toys for Tots coordinator for the Marine League St. Mary Detachment 600, said.
“When we looked at the weather forecast it was better to be safe than run into a storm and have someone drop a bike,” he said.
There were about 70 riders registered for the poker run, which took place at the Eastgate Shopping Center Saturday afternoon. 
“Naturally, we didn’t get some of the riders from out of town,” Goesel said. 
About 20 motorcycles were parked at the shopping center at 9 a.m., the starting time for the poker run.
The Marines would sell about 400 dinners for $8 and raise about $10,000, he said. 
The band Boat Trash donated its performance at Daiquiri & Company. 
The fundraiser is aimed at buying 5,000 to 6,000 toys to be delivered Dec. 14, he said. 
“We will probably help about 1,500 kids,” he said.
Goesel said the Toys for Tots fundraising usually includes a concert by a Marine band, but due to the budget cuts and the government shutdown, the concert may not happen. 
“Maybe because the government is back in operation they might be coming,” he said.
 

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