River Cities

Town of Medley and Medley Chamber of Commerce host Toys for Tots event

THE GIFT OF GIVING: Flanked by U. S. Marines and showcasing some of the toys donated to Toys for Tots at the Medley Chamber and Town of Medley Holiday Reception are (from left) Chamber Director Benny Hevia; Councilwoman Griselia DiGiacomo; Vice Mayor Jack Morrow; Miss Florida 2014 Victoria Cowen; Mayor Roberto Martell; Chamber President Gladys Perdomo; Chamber Vice President Andy Abbate; Councilman Edgar Ayala; and Sabadell United Bank Executive Vice President Carlos Bell.
THE GIFT OF GIVING: Flanked by U. S. Marines and showcasing some of the toys donated to Toys for Tots at the Medley Chamber and Town of Medley Holiday Reception are (from left) Chamber Director Benny Hevia; Councilwoman Griselia DiGiacomo; Vice Mayor Jack Morrow; Miss Florida 2014 Victoria Cowen; Mayor Roberto Martell; Chamber President Gladys Perdomo; Chamber Vice President Andy Abbate; Councilman Edgar Ayala; and Sabadell United Bank Executive Vice President Carlos Bell.

Hundreds of toys and hundreds of dollars were donated to the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots Foundation when, for the second year in a row, the back terrace of Medley Town Hall served as the perfect backdrop for the Town of Medley Chamber of Commerce’s annual Holiday Toys for Tots Reception on Dec. 3.

The event was co-sponsored by Sabadell Bank, Waste Management and HDH Medical Centers, and all patrons who paid the admission fee of $10 or an unwrapped toy were greeted with delicious hors-d’oeuvres, a full open bar and live musical entertainment for the evening.

But the real stars of the evening were the trio of United States Marines in attendance. Corporal Jon Stroud, Sgt. Michael Laibe and Sgt. Mark Gutierrez were all decked out like a shiny penny in their full colors and proudly hauled off the toys when the evening was done. The toys eventually will be distributed to needy children who otherwise wouldn’t have any toys under their tree during the holiday season.

“This is an event very important to our town because of the way it helps bring our community together and such a tremendous thing the Marines do in coming here tonight to make this so special,” said Medley mayor Roberto Martell. “They’re the ones who defend our freedom, so it’s only fitting that they are here for this event tonight. It’s also a credit to our local Chamber of Commerce, which worked so hard to put this event on along with the support of the two co-sponsors, Sabadell Bank and Waste Management. We want to keep this going every year.”

After being founded just three years ago, the Town of Medley Chamber of Commerce has quickly gathered a great deal of momentum and has a growing membership that passed the century mark during the past year. The Chamber also has a new president in Gladys Perdome, the bank manager at Sabadell. Perdomo replaced outgoing president Juan Rubi, who was primarily responsible for bringing the Toys for Tots event to Medley for the first time a year ago.

“What a great cause, what a great event,” said Perdomo. “I’m very happy and excited to be working with the Town of Medley to put on this terrific event. We’ve had a lot of participation from so many local businesses who donated so many toys for the kids and, as a group, we simply cannot ask for more.

“Children are our most precious resource and it is our hope that every child knows the joy of receiving a gift this holiday season.”

Numerous local dignitaries were in attendance and eventually introduced when Martell took the microphone to recognize everyone, including Sabadell executive vice president Carlos Bell.

“As part of our general commitment to the local communities in which we have locations, we always look to participate in any events that foster community spirit, development,” said Bell. “And certainly this is one of the key relationships that we have fostered at the bank, are privileged to be a part of and wish to continue.”

Perdomo indicated that the Chamber has every intention of making the event an annual tradition.

“It’s amazing what we’ve been able to do tonight and hopefully this will continue because the potential in this town is immeasurable,” said Perdomo. “Jose Marti, our national figure in Cuba, once said that children are the hope of our world and I’m very glad that the Medley Chamber is supporting the hope of the world tonight.”

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