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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX006 (2005)

ARLX006 Holiday Toy Drive trucks hit the highway

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 6  ARLX006
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  December 16, 2005
To all radio amateurs 

ARLX006 Holiday Toy Drive trucks hit the highway

A convoy carrying contributions to the ARRL/Salvation Army Holiday
Toy Drive set off December 15 from the Memphis warehouse where the
toys have been collecting for several weeks. On hand to see them off
were representatives of the ARRL, The Salvation Army, country music
singer Patty Loveless, KD4WUJ, Amateur Radio volunteers, the news
media, dignitaries and, of course, Santa Claus. Loveless, who served
as national chairperson for the campaign, expressed her thanks to
Amateur Radio clubs and individual hams who gave to the drive.

"I think it's just amazing. For those who couldn't be here, I'm sure
they're here in spirit and giving from their hearts, and I just want
to thank them--from all around--for collecting," Loveless told ARRL.
"Love is a word that truly everybody knows."

It took three trucks to contain the 4500 toys bound for youngsters
along the US Gulf Coast displaced or left homeless as a result of
this year's devastating hurricanes.

ARRL Delta Division Vice Director Henry Leggette, WD4Q, ARRL Media
and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, The Salvation
Army's Bill Feist, WB8BZH, and Loveless headlined a send-off
ceremony as ham radio volunteers wearing Santa hats, coordinated by
Joe Lowenthal, WA4OVO, packed up the trucks for the late-afternoon
departure. Lowenthal says the Holiday Toy Drive received donations
from upward of three dozen states plus the US Virgin Islands.

At the warehouse, Delta Amateur Radio Club members began a W1AW/4
special event operation December 15. A W1AW mobile station also is
on the air from a vehicle shadowing the truck convoy.

The ARRL partnered with The Salvation Army for this year's campaign.
Feist, The Salvation Army's disaster services director for the
Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi division, said it was an exciting
occasion and he was glad to see ham radio get some positive
publicity too. "We are certainly very appreciative of what all the
Amateur Radio operators around the country and the ARRL have done
for the people of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi," Feist said.

League members gave more than $4000 in cash donations to purchase
even more toys--especially for older youngsters--and transport them
to the Gulf Coast.

The ARRL thanks everyone who contributed to--and who volunteered to
assist--in making the 2005 Holiday Toy Drive a success.


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