Pomona, CA – The U.S. Marine Toys for Tots collection and fundraising campaign will be returning to the Holiday Half Marathon events held on Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11 at Fairplex in Pomona. Members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will be on hand all weekend to accept new, unwrapped toys, or a cash donation. Additionally, children ages 6 to 12 from around Southern California will have the opportunity to run the Holiday Kids Fun Run for FREE.
"It's our goal to ensure every child in the Los Angeles area knows the joy of Christmas" said U.S. Marine Gunnery Sargent Marcus Booth. Since its inception in 1947, the goal of the Toys for Tots program is to be able to provide less fortunate children with the joys of Christmas. The U.S. Marines will be very involved in the weekend’s activities including collecting toys, donations, and hanging medals on participants at the finish line. For an added element of fun, the Toys for Tots Hummer will serve as the lead vehicle for the races.
The Holiday Half Marathon events will have an expected 7,000 participants. Events include the Holiday 5k and the FREE Penguin Waddle 1 Mile Kids Fun Run being held on Saturday, December 10, and the Half Marathon being held on Sunday, December 11. U.S. Marines will be driving the Hummer lead race vehicle and also presenting medals to the finishers.
The FREE Penguin Waddle 1 Mile Kids Fun Run is expected to sell out with 1,000 youth, ages 6 to 12 years old participating. Kids must register in advance to enter and will run in waves with their own age group starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday. More than 3,000 youth from Students Run LA will run in the Half Marathon event on Sunday.
The scenic course for the Half Marathon features Puddingstone Lake in Bonelli Park. The run will start and finish at Fairplex, home of the L.A. County Fair. 2011 LA County Holiday Half Marathon sponsors to date include: Fairplex – Host Venue, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center – Official Hospital, Dick’s Sporting Goods – Official Athletic Retailer, Michelob Ultra – Official Beer and The Sound 100.3 FM – Media Partner. For additional information on the Holiday Half Marathon and related events please visit www.RunHolidayHalf.com.
About Toys for Tots: The principal Toys for Tots activity which takes place each year is the collection and distribution of toys in the communities in which a Marine Corps Reserve Unit is located. In communities without a Reserve Unit, the campaign can be conducted by a Marine Corps League Detachment or group of men and women, generally veteran Marines, authorized by Marine toys for tots Foundation to conduct a local Toys for Tots campaign. Local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest in Toys for Tots, and concurrently generate toys and monetary donations. The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.
About Fairplex: Under the direction of the Los Angeles County Fair Association, Fairplex is home to the L.A. County Fair, the largest county fair in the world, as well as The Learning Centers which encompasses Fairtime Learning, the Child Development Center, the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC), the Junior Fair Board, and the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts. Fairplex also operates a diverse hospitality business with the Sheraton Fairplex, McKinley’s Grille, KOA RV Park, Finish Line Sports Grill, Cornucopia Foods, and the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center. The campus is also home to the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona; horse-racing and Barretts Equine Limited; as well as the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition. For more information, please visit www.fairplex.com.
About RUN Racing: Led by Olympic Gold Medalist Bob Seagren, RUN Racing specializes exclusively in the development, management and implementation of endurance, health, fitness and special events. RUN Racing events include the OC Marathon held in May; the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon held in October; the Dana Point Turkey Trot 10K & 5K held on Thanksgiving Day and the Holiday Half Marathon held in December. Follow RUN Racing on Twitter for event information (@RUNRacing) and find The Long Beach International City Bank Marathon and Holiday Half Marathon on Facebook for interactive event information (Long Beach International City Bank Marathon and Holiday Half Marathon).