Fourteen-year-old Destiny Wade said she knows what it’s like to not get presents on Christmas because her family couldn’t afford them.
This year she won’t be disappointed or upset Christmas morning.
But she will also feel good knowing that she helped make sure other kids won’t experience that disappointment either.
“I wanted them to learn to give,” said her grandmother, Michelle Logue. “It’s not only good to receive, but to give.”
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The Bradenton Marauders and their popular mascot collected more than 500 toys on Saturday at Pirate City as part of the second annual Marty’s Toy Drive for families in Manatee County. The Marauders will give the toys to the Salvation Army in ensure families in need will receive toys.
Logue said she knows what’s it like not to be able to afford to buy her grandchildren toys. There were years when she wouldn’t have anything for her four grandchildren — ages 14, 13, 10 and 9.
“Usually I don’t have much to give, but this year I did,” Logue said.
But not only was in important to her to give this holiday season, but the lesson she hoped to instill in her grandchildren.
“They don’t get that much usually, but I wanted them to learn that other kids have get even less,” Logue said.
Baseball fans streamed in and out of the training facility used by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the parent club of the Marauders, on Saturday morning, bringing with them new, unwrapped toys.
“They’ve been coming to Marauders’ games for seven years,” Logue said.
Children who came out to the event, got the opportunity to take a picture with mascot Marty, who was dressed as Santa, or “Marty-claus.” Those who donated toys also got to enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast, a choice of promo item from the team’s treasure chest and an entry into a raffle for a spring training prize pack that includes four tickets to 2017 spring training game
Marauders fans and employees had already donated more than 100 leading up to Saturday’s event.
“This is something we definitely want to continue through the holiday season and for years to come,” said Carley Paganelli, marketing and community relations coordinator for the Bradenton Marauders and the Pittsburgh Pirates Florida operations.