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Toys for Tots benefit set Thursday

Golf tournament set at The Fields

Natalie Turman

Daily News intern

Troopers with the Georgia State Patrol help raise money for the 2014 Toys for Tots campaign outside Walmart. The money will also be utilized to give children and families within Troup County a merry Christmas this year.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_WEB1219ToysTots11.jpgTroopers with the Georgia State Patrol help raise money for the 2014 Toys for Tots campaign outside Walmart. The money will also be utilized to give children and families within Troup County a merry Christmas this year. File

LaGRANGE — The local Marine Corps League is seeking golfers to participate in its inaugural Toys for Tots Golf tournament on Thursday.

The event is set for The Fields Golf Club, 257 S. Smith Road in LaGrange.

“The people out at The Fields were kind enough to contact us and say, ‘Look, we do this at other clubs we run throughout the state, why don’t y’all do it?’” said Benarde Bledsoe regarding the origin of this year’s tournament.

Toys for Tots, adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps in 1948, collects toys from all 50 states for less-fortunate children. The LaGrange detachment for Toys for Tots started in 2000. The detachment collects about 3,000 toys every Christmas for the children in the local area.

LaGrange Toys for Tots has worked with the Salvation Army, Empty Stocking Fund of LaGrange and Hogansville since its creation in 2000. The Georgia State Patrol also helps with toy collection.

Bledsoe said he hopes to take the holiday pressure off low-income parents by providing toys.

“’Let us give you (the organizations) more toys and you just look after more kids,’” Bledsoe said about partnering with the other organizations. “And so for 15 years in the past — and this is our 16th year — we plan to do exactly that.”

Bledsoe is the commissioner of the LaGrange Toys for Tots. He will also be the grand marshal for this year’s Christmas Parade.

The entry fee for every two-man team will be $70. Each team is also asked to donate $100 or more in new, unwrapped toys. These and all other toys collected will be distributed through the Empty Stocking Fund of LaGrange, the Empty Stocking Fund of Hogansville and the local Salvation Army.

Anyone seeking to apply to receive toys from the program may go to:

• The Salvation Army, 806 Murphy Ave. in LaGrange.

• The Hogansville Pilot Club, starting early November.

• The LaGrange Empty Stocking Fund, accepting applications at the LaGrange Personal Aid office, 416 Pierce St.

• The Hogansville Empty Stocking Fund, 4–6 p.m. on Nov. 2, Nov. 5 and Nov. 9. at the Hogansville Recreation Center, 304 Church St.

Teams may register on the day of the tournament but are encouraged to register before.

For more information on registration forms, contact Bernard Bledsoe at 706-882-7211 or bledsoe@charter.net.

Note: This story has been updated to correct information on application locations.