In Tequesta, the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre and ArtStage Performing Arts Center teamed up to help one of the most worthy causes of all -- the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, a program of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.
JUPITER, Fla. (PRWEB) December 12, 2012
In Palm Beach County, hundreds of charitable organizations are preparing for the 2012 holiday season by asking for donations to support their various causes.
Whether it’s food for the hungry, clothes for the homeless or financial assistance for families of ill children, the needs are great, and Christmastime makes fulfilling them so much more important. Many charitable organizations are struggling with their mission statements, whatever they may be, and are relying on the kindness of strangers and the good will of neighbors to help achieve them.
In Tequesta, the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre and ArtStage Performing Arts Center teamed up to help one of the most worthy causes of all -- the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, a program of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. The toy drive got underway in September and came to a grand finale Dec. 9 at the Jupiter Tequesta Athletic Association Christmas parade.
The annual procession down Alternate A1A and past homes in Tequesta drew an estimated 2,000 participants and more than 5,000 spectators, plus hundreds of toys.
“The drive was a great success,” said Donna Carbone, the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theater’s publicist. “We filled two huge boxes between donations from Mr. Reynolds’ staff / students and fans.”
Local students from ArtStage Performing Arts Center, a dancing, acting and singing academy near the Tequesta Country Club, along with their parents, focused on collecting toys, as they do every year. The students at the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre, which is being housed at the center while a new facility is built on riverfront property in Jupiter, collected new books for children of all ages and grade levels.
According to Carbone, the students at the institute decided to give books and focus on literacy because their well-known acting-legend-turned-mentor is an avid bookworm. During acting classes, Reynolds, who lives near Hobe Sound Golf Club encourages his students to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – in order to add another dimension of creativity to the stage.
“A lot of our people donated books to encourage literacy, which is Mr. R’s passion,” she said. “We all, including Mr. R, who loves children and has great respect for the military, felt honored to be a part of such a worthwhile venture. We hope to make this a yearly tradition at BRIFT -- of course, always encouraging kids to read, read, read.”
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation event usually begins in October. This year, the institute and the center kicked it off one month earlier because of the need and because of the goal – to make Christmas a joyous occasion for all children and families, no matter what their economic status is.
Waterfront Properties and Club Communities is renowned for its toy drives of years past, as they’ve helped thousands of underprivileged children in South Florida and been highly publicized. Rob Thomson, managing partner of the Jupiter-based brokerage, was the leader of the toy-drive effort and, one year, collected more than 30,000 for distribution during the holidays through the Charities for Children organization.