Oak Ridge Detachment Christmas Dinners & Toys for Tots

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Staff Writer

Published: 12/12/2021 3:08:19 PM

Modified: 12/12/2021 3:07:43 PM

BERNARDSTON — The Marine Corps League Oak Ridge Detachment is in the middle of collecting new, unwrapped toys to give to Toys for Tots and preparing to give away ham dinners to 10 local families in need.

Commandant and Web Sgt. Brian Brooks said the detachment has placed Toys for Tots donation boxes at Antonio’s II in Bernardston, local branches of Greenfield Savings Bank, and the Greenfield businesses of Dillon Chevrolet, Carquest Auto Parts, Lundgren Honda of Greenfield and Tim’s Barber Shop. Brooks said the detachment has longstanding relationships with these businesses, which have been helping with Toys for Tots for years.

“We just enjoy helping individuals in the community in general,” Brooks said about the Oak Ridge Detachment. “It’s rewarding work.”

Brooks, a Marine who served from 2004 to 2008, said the detachment’s fundraisers (such as the chicken barbecue in the summer) generate the money to pay for the ham dinner giveaway. He said the detachment typically asks community members if they know of any family in need who would be interested in a free ham dinner. Brooks said he hopes there is enough money to provide all the trimmings with those dinners, too.

People can also send suggestions on the detachment’s new website, oakridgedetachmentmcl.org. Brooks said priority will be given to families with children.

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Brooks said veterans match well with good causes.

“I think that it comes largely from, once you served your country in the military, once you leave, you kind of have an absence there. You want to continue that service,” he said. “Some people called it ‘service after service.’”

In March, the detachment donated to Franklin County TRIAD’s fourth annual Hams for Seniors, and in June it donated $1,000 to Bernardston’s Cushman Park fundraising campaign for new oak trees. In October, $500 was donated to disc jockey Robert “Bobby C” Campbell’s efforts to provide Thanksgiving dinners for families in need and, just a week or so ago, the detachment donated 10 large turkeys to families in need.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.