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IN THE NEWS: Downing Collects Two Boxes For Toys For Tots
December 13, 2013

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
08:21PM / Thursday, December 12, 2013
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Sen. Benjamin Downing believes he may have collected the most gifts for Toys For Tots than he has in the last three years. But, will it be enough to top Mayor Daniel Bianchi's office?

The senator held an open house-type collection at his office Thursday night and as the end approached, two boxes were overflowing with gifts.

"This looks like more than last year," Downing said overlooking the boxes.

A range of people stopped by with arms full of gifts. But, just around the corner, Bianchi's office got a jump start earlier this year with the donation of a bicycle.

Downing joked about the friendly competition and said if measured by gifts per employees, Bianchi has the edge because the mayor has more employees.

But, he said that as community leaders from Adams and North Adams strolled through the doors with their own gifts — so it is safe to say that Downing has an edge in the region.

Who will collect more donations? We don't know yet. But does it really matter? Maybe not for the two officials but it will hopefully brighten Christmas Day for some needy local children.

The program is an official activity of the Marine Corps Reserve. Created by a reservist in 1947 to collect toys for needy children, the program has since distributed more than 469 million toys to some 216 million children. State police will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for the program at the Cheshire and Lee barracks through Saturday.


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