Elmhurst families and Entact Corp. came through with generous donations for this year's Toys for Tots holiday drive that wrapped up last weekend.
York High School senior Thomas Gnadt led the drive, along with Jason and Bill Gorey, who run the ice rink at Elmhurst YMCA. They collected an estimated 400 toys, as well as $2,500 to allowed the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots organization to purchase even more toys for children in need.
Gnadt said this year's drive seemed to draw an even stronger outpouring, possibly because of the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14.
"So many people helped out," he said. "We don't even know how to begin to thank (everyone) since many were anonymous."
On Friday, U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Morales greeted families at the YMCA.
He offered special thanks to the Elmhurst Y, to York seniors Matt Nosek and Tanner Obal, and to Gnadt's little brother and sister, who tranported many of the toys.
Elmhurst College Admissions Office also was a major contributor to the effort, as were the members of Elmhurst Airborne's sixth-grade boys team.