Glen Cove resident and Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton has served for many years on the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Toys For Tots toy collection effort that help make the holidays brighter for needy children. She contributes her time for no other reason than to give back to the community, never expecting or wanting to be honored. So, she was very surprised and flattered when she was recently presented with the 2016 U.S. Marine Corps Toys For Tots Honorary Vice Chairman Award for going above and beyond to help make this annual event more successful each year.
This year’s toy drive was by far the most successful and exciting ever. An estimated 50,000 donated toys were gathered — the largest single donation event in the U.S. Delia worked side by side with dozens of other volunteers to help load thousands of toys onto three tractor trailers. Bagpipes and other holiday music played and Nassau County Police helicopters flew overhead. The event culminated in the toy-laded trucks being escorted by police, dozens of high performance cars and military vehicles to Citi Field and Mets owner David Katz.
This event is led by the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe LaPadula of Martino Auto Concepts and members of exotics4Life.com, a luxury car club and website and Delia. “The level of generosity and support these groups demonstrate through the overwhelming amount of toys donated is so heartwarming,” Delia said. “This event truly embodies what holiday spirit and community spirit in general truly mean. It is an honor and a privilege to help in any way I can.”
(From left) Jon Holzer, Major USMC, Retired Charles Kilbride, Legislator and USMC Toys For Tots committee member Delia DeRiggi-Whitton and USMC Toys For Tots Chair and owner of Martino Auto Concepts Joe LaPadula.