SIU members in Tacoma, Wash., earlier this month continued their tradition of generosity by participating in an annual toy drive benefiting the families of enlisted military personnel. Through a charity called Santa’s Castle, Seafarers stepped up and donated more than $7,000 worth of toys.
“The members outdid themselves this year,” said SIU Port Agent Joe Vincenzo. “Fifteen bicycles were donated along with a dozen or more watches and musical instruments including several electronic keyboards, guitars and drums for the older kids. Members also brought in remote-controlled cars and helicopters, board games, books, dozens of dolls and so much more.”
He added that on Dec. 11, the Tacoma hall hosted a holiday celebration attended by military members, Santa’s Castle President Lisa Bennett and Vice President Anita Vargo, Crowley Maritime personnel (who also donated to the cause), SIU members, retirees, their families and friends.
“This is a way Seafarers join together and give thanks to our men and women in uniform for their service,” Vincenzo said.
He concluded by noting that many volunteers “deserve mention for menu planning and portioning, shopping, setup, serving and teardown: Administrative Assistant Brenda Flesner, Recertified Steward Brian Burchett, Chief Cook Charlie Atkins, Chief Cook Mary Maddox and Recertified Steward Tom Belvin. Charlie Atkins’ contribution in particular was invaluable.”