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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11

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GIVING FROM THE HEART

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COTV members showed the size of their hearts by turning out in huge numbers Sunday, December 11 to donate toys, sporting goods, books and games to the Marine Corp Reserve’s Toys For Tots program.

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The weather forecast had been somewhat dubious and based on past experience the early birds turned up with various layers of clothing to find out that Ray McIntosh had the right idea with his holiday shorts, t-shirt and hat. The sun shone very brightly and the day was warm as about 80 members came and went from 9am to 10:30, enjoying donuts and each others’ company while adding to the growing pile of donations.

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Gunnery Sergeant John Martuszewski or “Ski” arrived among the earlier ones in his black 2003 Z06 with his 12 year-old son, Paxton, riding shotgun. At the end of the day, Paxton said he had not been bored and would be back next year, so even a group of “old farts” is good company when they come with Corvettes attached. “Ski” and his colleague, another Sergeant, Shane, met and chatted with all the members, checked out the cars and posed for photos. Shane and Chuck Sherman, a retired Gunnery Sergeant, spent a lot of time in conversation.

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This year was the year of the bicycle, as Mike and Doreen brought 6 and several others added to the count. There were also a large number of Razor scooters. Angela Smith asked how the toys are distributed so we went to the source and were told that after collection at a huge number of events, donations from Riverside County go to a depot in Temecula and from Northern San Diego County to one in Vista. They are then sorted by age and gender. Pastors of various churches or organizers of local charities can submit names and information about needy families that they have vetted and then items are selected to fulfill these wish lists. So now we know how this works!

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At 10:35am the pick-up vehicle arrived from Pendleton and we loaded all the bikes into the back of a truck and the rest of the goodies into a trailer. The left-over donuts went to the various Marines and the approximately 70 remaining COTV members and “Ski” and Paxton headed out on a very short, indirect and convoluted run led by Rob Weber and corraled in by Ray McIntosh to cover the few miles from Kohl’s to Romano’s Macaroni Grill at the Promenade. The restaurant had set up tables in their side room and one just outside for the overflow crowd and we were offered a 2 course menu with a choice of 2 salads and 8 entrees. Mimosas and Bloody Marys were available for $2, so you could afford a couple. They had plenty of staff on hand and the service was excellent as was the food. Perhaps it was all the donuts or perhaps it was the size of the servings, but a lot of food seemed to head home with the members. The restaurant was able to accommodate vegetarians, those with allergies and some who opted to eat off the regular menu. Many who had not been to Macaroni Grill for a long time were pleasantly surprised and plan to try other dishes on other visits. Since it is difficult to locate restaurants who can accommodate such a large group, it is always nice if we can say thank you by patronizing them in the future. So go again and order another lasagne or chicken parmesan or salmon or whatever catches your fancy and say thanks to the staff for doing such a great job with a bunch of hungry Corvette owners.

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We say thanks to all of our COTV friends who joined together to provide a good Christmas for kids in need of one. We look forward to spending more time together in 2017!

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Where We’re All Going After The Holidays

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