AKRON — Goodyear airship bases in Ohio and Florida once again will be collection sites for the eighth annual Goodyear, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation benefit.
The public will have the opportunity in early December to donate to Toys for Tots while driving past airships docked at each respective base, Goodyear said. Both events are free.
New toys in original packaging or cash donations will support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, but donations are not required.
The Ohio event will be held Dec. 7, 8 and 9 from 2-9 p.m. at the airship hangar in Mogadore, Ohio, where the company's newest and third airship, Wingfoot Three, will be docked.
The Florida event will be held Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pompano Beach airship hangar, where the Wingfoot One will be docked.
"We salute the U.S. Marine Corps and the mission of Toys for Tots to bring joy to children in need," Paul Fitzhenry, senior vice president, global communications, said.
"This program gives us the opportunity to open our doors to the community and to encourage fans of the Goodyear Blimp to make a toy donation in the spirit of the holiday season."
Goodyear and the Marines have delivered more than 80,000 toys and more than $200,000 to benefit Toys for Tots over the past seven years.
"Their community service goals certainly align with those the Marine Corps has promoted for over 70 years through our Toys for Tots Program," according to retired Marine Colonel Ted Silvester, vice president of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
"With their generous support, we will be able to fulfill the Christmas holiday dreams of thousands of less fortunate children who otherwise might be forgotten."
Goodyear has a long history of community involvement. In 1927, for example, it nicknamed one of its blimps the "Santa Claus Express" to celebrate the season.
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program was founded in 1948 with the mission to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December and distribute those to less fortunate children in the community where the campaign is conducted.