St. Louis—It was a banner year for toy collections at this year’s AASP-MO annual “Toys For Tots Christmas Social,” Dec. 11, in St. Louis.
“It was awesome,” said Ron Reiling, Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Missouri (AASP-MO) executive director, “we had 75 people attend and collected 3,500 toys, which is the most we’ve ever had. Last year we had about 1,500. It was difficult to get a photo with all of the toys in it — it’s a great way to kick off the holiday.”
He added that the toy donation accounted for 2 percent of total toys given away in the St. Louis area (last year the Toys for Tots program in the region gave away 43,000 toys).
The event was hosted by the Gateway Collision Chapter Chairman Doug Slattery, of Automotive Technology Inc. (ATI), and was open to AASP-MO members and shops and their guests. All toys are given to children in the St. Louis-metro area.
“It’s great that the automotive industry can contribute and participate so much,” he said. “We do much more than just fix cars. It was standing room-only.”
The difference this year was 12 Caliber Collision shops that collected 1,600 toys alone. Syberg’s Restaurant, the location of the event, also collected two boxes of toys, in addition to the St. Charles post office, other community businesses and auto shops and suppliers.
Beverage sponsors included ATI, Chief, Don’s Body Shop, Chapmann and Sanders, Mitchell, Cooper Color, PPG, Don’s Auto Body and ABRA Glass. Hors d’oeuvres were sponsored by Cooper Color, Caliber Collision, Enterprise and PPG.