Prince Frederick Dodge hosts fifth Toys for Tots Challenge

Prince Frederick, MD - On Saturday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 A.M. there was a crowd gathered outside of Prince Frederick Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram for the dealership’s fifth Toys for Tots Challenge. The event featured a game trailer, food trucks, a sports memorabilia silent-auction and autograph signings.

As patrons entered the dealership, they were greeted by Marines who were there to help educate the public about the charity and load the vans with donated toys. Attendees could then talk to celebrities like Scott Schwartz, the actor who played "Flick" in "A Christmas Story," along with announcers and players for the Washington Capitals.

Last year the dealership’s campaign was able to fill two “Pro-Masters” (a large van pictured below), exceeding the number of donations they could give to Toys for Tots. The extra toys were taken to Project ECHO and given back to the community.

Aside from the charity, the draw of the event is the opportunity to meet athletes and celebrities, along with the prospect of purchasing sports memorabilia offered through the silent auction. Denise Aud, controller for Prince Frederick Dodge, stated that they attempt to attract as many individuals as possible by inviting a variety of celebrities. “We try to get something a little different for everyone. We take care of all the fees in getting [celebrities] here in hopes that the people come and support with donations for our goal.”

The silent auction part of the event occupied half of the dealership’s showroom, featuring autographed photographs and jerseys. Above Average Graphing provides the memorabilia, and proceeds exceeding the minimum bid are donated to a charity of their choosing, according to Aud.

By noon on Saturday, the truck outside the dealership was already half-full. Aud and Prince Frederick Dodge hoped that this year would be their “biggest yet.”

Toys for Tots is a charity created by Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks in 1947 and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was “established in 1991 at the behest of the Marine Corps.” Their goal is to “help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America's less fortunate children.” Information on the charity's history and how to receive or donate toys can be found on the Toys for Tots web site here

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