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Kiwanis Club of Brea 28th Annual Toys for Tots history

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HISTORY OF BREA KIWANIS PARTNERSHIP WITH TOYS FOR TOTS

    The major emphasis of Kiwanis is serving the Children of the world. Providing toys to children at Christmas time is a perfect fit for the Kiwanis Club of Brea to embrace. With this in mind in 1985, Dean Hall, a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserve (now retired from the Marine Corps) proposed to the Kiwanis Club of Brea that the club partner with the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program to bring toys to the disadvantaged children of Brea. The Brea Club warmly accepted Dean’s proposal, and under his leadership, the Brea Kiwanis Club began their partnership with Toys for Tots in 1985.

      On the night of the toy sorting in the first year, 1985, Dean Hall and his wife Christine, along with Brea Kiwanis President Del Hawkins, were the only Kiwanians present to sort the toys. To make matters worse, toy collection that first year was very meager. Dean and his wife rushed out and, using their own money, bought as many $3.00 toys and gifts that they could find to supplement the few toys collected that year. Although the gifts were small, every child received a gift that first year.

        In preparation for the Toys for Tots program in 1986, Dean contacted several major businesses and the various schools in Brea. Beckman Instruments (now Beckman Coulter) and Mercury Insurance were the first businesses in Brea to join the Toys for Tots drive in 1986. Most of the grammar schools and the high school in Brea also participated in 1986. With more large organizations joining Brea Kiwanis in the Toys for Tots effort, enough toys to meet the Brea needs were collected in 1986.

          In subsequent years, the toy collection increased each year. The businesses and schools that first participated in 1986, with the exception of Beckman Coulter, are still helping the Brea Kiwanis Club with the Toys for Tots program.

            In addition to increased toy collection each year, the involvement of the individual members of the Brea Kiwanis Club also increased over time. Although Dean still makes all the donor contacts and distributes approximately 35 collection boxes to approximately 20 individual collection sites, picking up the toy-filled boxes is handled by several Brea Kiwanis members.

              Toys’ sorting now involves most Brea Kiwanis Club members and their families, scouts from Boy Scout Troop 801 (Brea), and Key Club members from Brea-Olinda High School.

                After the toys are sorted, they are distributed in Brea through the Brea Community Emergency Council (BCEC). Surplus toys not needed in Brea are given to the La Habra Community Services Department for their Christmas toy distribution. In all since 1985, the Brea Kiwanis Club’s Toys for Tots effort has collected and distributed over 30,000 toys to disadvantaged children.

                  Dean Hall Kiwanis Biography

                    Dean joined the Kiwanis Club of Brea in March 1985. Shortly thereafter he was elected to the Board of Directors and has served continuously since 1985. He was elected Club President during 1988-89 and again in 2006-07.

                      In 1987, Dean was voted Club Kiwanian of Year and was honored with the President’s Award in 2004, 2008, and 2010. He received the Kiwanis Distinguished Service Award for 2001-02, and received the Legion of Honor in 2009. In 1993, Dean was awarded the Golden Bunny Award for fund raising supporting the annual Easter Egg Hunt. In 1985, Dean partnered the Brea Kiwanis Club with the United States Marine Corps Reserve in the Toys for Tots program and has been the Chairperson for the program ever since. Dean has been the Chairperson of the Brea Kiwanis Annual Easter Egg Hunt committee in 1986-1988 and from 1991 to the present. In 2006 he chaired the Club Scholarship committee to establish Bylaw procedures and has been the Scholarship chairperson ever since 2007.

                        Finally, Dean Hall has achieved perfect Attendance for 28 years achieving all this great service.

                          By Charlie Phillips, Kiwanis Secretary
Author :

"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded independent contractor. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting wholeheartedly the City of Brea --a charming town with character & innovation, turning 100 years old in 2017!

  • Carolyn Campbell

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