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Elementary school collects toys for children

Student Council members Friday at Grace McWayne Elementary School in Batavia packed toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program for children in need.
Student Council members Friday at Grace McWayne Elementary School in Batavia packed toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program for children in need.

BATAVIA – Grace McWayne Elementary School fifth-grader Zachary Nahorski hopes the Hot Wheels cars and dolls he packed Friday will make Christmas a little brighter for some child.

Zachary and other student council members collected toys Friday for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program that benefits families in need.

“It feels good to help other people,” the 11-year-old said.

The 696 toys the school collected were a welcome sight to Fred Zimmerman, commander for the Marine Corps League Elgin Detachment No. 077. The toys will be distributed next week to families across the area.

“This is what it’s all about,” Zimmerman said. “It’s for the kids.”

The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December and distribute the gifts to children in need. This is the fourth year the school has collected toys for the program.

“Last year, we collected 712 toys,” said Grace McWayne fourth-grade teacher Sue Palombella. “We were shooting for 713 toys this year.”

The school still has a shot of breaking that record. Grace McWayne will continue to collect toys for the program.

“We try to get the kids to see it’s not just about our little school,” Palombella said. “We try to look beyond our school walls with our student council.”

Grace McWayne fourth-grade student Ashley Whelpley said she joined the student council in order to help people.

“I like helping everyone,” she said.

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