Photo by Roger Gavan From left, Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, Amanda Dana of the OC Partnership, Amy Weyhrauch, the Director of Holiday Shares for West Point, Phil Royle of LegoLand, Frank Truatt, owner of WTBQ, Rabbi Pesach of Orange Chabad, American Legion Post 214 Commander Laura Smykla, Charles Clark, commander of The Disabled American Vets, Taylor Sterling, station manager of WTBQ, Christian Farrell, Orange County director of Veteran Affairs, Bob Caridi, president of the Nam Knights, Lt. Duane Lopez of the Orange County Sheriff’s office, Nam Knight, Tom Lovelace of The Armonia Band, Pat Tooney of the Nam Knights, and Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus.

On Friday, December 9, contributors to the first annual Toys for Military Tots toy drive assembled at the office of Orange County Community Radio WTBQ (1110 AM/93.5 FM) to celebrate the success of the program and the distribution of the toys.

The program was launched this November by station owner Frank Truatt and station manager Taylor Sterling, who had conceived the idea after speaking with Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus about the needs of the children of our military, both active duty and those of disabled veterans.

Outpouring was ‘amazing’The station then teamed up with numerous organizations to help support this toy drive. And drop off boxes were located throughout the county as well as at the WTBQ office.

“The outpouring from the county was amazing,” said Sterling. “The concept conceived with Steve Neuhaus has surpassed all of our expectations.”

State and county officials supporting the program were Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, Christian Farrell, director of Veteran Affairs, and County Clerk Annie Rabbitt.

ContributorsOther contributors included the Orange County Partnership, Orange Chabad, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, The Castle, Quinnz Pinz Bowling and Sports Bar, The Computer Guy and Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe, which contributed boxes of toys.

In addition Phil Royle of LegoLand donated 50 boxes of Lego toys. Tom Lovelace of The Armonia Band played two benefit concerts and Third-grade teacher Sarah Woglom brought in three boxes the children had collected.

“The happiness these toys will bring to these children of the military on Christmas morning is truly a outpouring of love and caring from everyone in Orange County,” said Sterling. “Thank you all. This toy drive really took on a life of its own. The spirit of giving back is contagious and we will continue that feeling as WTBQ begins its Coats to Warm Military Families in January. We are asking for gently used or new coats for babies through adults of every size, male and female. Frank and Taylor of WTBQ want to take this time to thank you all and wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy Holiday.”

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