Batavia elementary school collects toys for children

Published: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 9:09 a.m. CDT
(Eric Schelkopf –
Grace McWayne Elementary School students in Batavia collected toys Friday for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program that benefits families in need.

BATAVIA – Grace McWayne Elementary School fifth-grader Vivien Cohen hopes the dolls and books she packed Friday will make Christmas brighter for a needy child.

Vivien and other student council members presented more than 800 toys Friday to organizers for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program that benefits families in need.

“I hope their Christmas will be more merry,” she said.

Grace McWayne fourth-grade student Madison Foy brought Connect Four, a game that she has enjoyed with her own family.

“I thought other kids would enjoy it,” Madison said.

Patrick Kackert, Toys for Tots coordinator for Kane County, said the donation was greatly appreciated. Grace McWayne students have worked over the past few months fundraising and collecting new, unwrapped toys to help support the Toys for Tots program.

“Our donations are down this year,” Kackert said. “This will really give it a boost.”

The donation represented the largest made by one organization to Toys for Toys this holiday season, Kackert said.

“They have definitely gone above and beyond,” he said.

The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program, which began in 1947, is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December and distribute the gifts to children in need.

This is the fifth year the school has collected toys for the program.

Grace McWayne fourth-grade student Della Williams and her sister brought in two baby dolls as part of the toy drive.

“I think they will like them and be surprised,” she said.

Information about Toys for Tots is available at