Paramedics partner with FZE students and retirement communities on “Fill the Ambulance” campaign for USMC ”Toys for Tots” program
Marines and paramedics will fill several ambulances this week with thousands of toys in an effort to collect Christmas gifts for needy children and remember fallen servicemen. Two toy drives will be held. One will be a partnership with area retirement communities on Friday, December 9th, and the second will take place at Fort Zumwalt East H.S. on Tuesday December 13th before the varsity basketball game that tips off at 7:00PM.
Martin Limpert, a spokesman for the St. Charles County Ambulance District, said the "Fill the Ambulance" campaign was inspired last year by the family of Lance Cpl. Phillip D. Vinnedge, 19, of St. Charles County, who was killed in October in Afghanistan. Vinnedge's family had requested that memorials go to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Vinnedge graduated from Francis Howell Central HS and the inaugural toy drive took place last year at a FHC basketball game.
The drive was so successful that paramedics decided to move the event to a different area high school each year. This year’s campaign will be held at Fort Zumwalt East HS on December 13th who will appropriately be playing FHC. The public is invited to contribute to the campaign by filling an ambulance with toys at Fort Zumwalt East High School at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. The school is offering free admission to anyone who donates a toy that night.
Anyone wishing to donate a toy before the game can drop it off at Fort Zumwalt East H.S. located at 600 First executive Ave in St Peters, or at any of the ambulance district bases throughout the county. For more information, call the high school at 636-477-2400 or the ambulance district at 636-344-7633.
On Friday, December 9th, five retirement communities participated in the drive and 2 ambulances were filled. The 5 retirement communities included Twin Oaks @ Heritage Pointe, Garden Villas of O'Fallon, Park Place Senior Living. Oak Tree Village, Lake St Charles, and Parkside Retirement. Debbra Coval, Executive Director of Park Place stated that this is a wonderful opportunity for our residents to support two great causes. Many of our residents are veterans and the response has been overwhelming. Limpert stated that residents at Park Place filled one ambulance completely with their donations.