When the members of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association attend their annual awards banquet, they don’t show up empty handed. For the seventh year in a row, the strawberry farmers used this opportunity on Dec. 12 to support the local U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
“Each member who attends brings an unwrapped gift for a boy or girl for ages infant to 14,” said Sue Harrell, director of marketing for FSGA. Harrell said growers also contribute cash to the effort so the local Toys for Tots campaign can purchase items to meet the unique needs of the children they serve in the Tampa Bay area.
“Seven large bags were filled to overflowing with toys during the 32nd Annual FSGA Awards Banquet, known as the Jam,” Harrell said.
Also for the seventh year, Master Sgt. Danny Ramirez was on hand to accept the toy and cash donations from Harrell and FSGA Executive Director Kenneth Parker (photo attached/available).
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is the Marine Corps’ premier community action program and the only charitable endeavor within the Department of Defense that reaches outside the military establishment to give something back to the communities from which it draws the young men and women who wear the uniforms of the armed services of the United States.
The U.S. Marines have distributed more than 469 million toys to over 216 million needy children throughout the nation. For more information about the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, visit the website at http://www.toysfortots.org/
The Florida Strawberry Growers Association was formed in 1982, and became a voice for Florida strawberry growers. Its mission continues to allow farmers to be partners in research, promotion and member/community service. Local growers and members of the FSGA produce about 15 percent of the nation’s strawberries and virtually all the berries grown during the winter. The commodity, grown on approximately 11,000 acres, has an economic impact on the local community exceeding $700 million. For more information about FSGA, visit www.flastrawberry.com.