Company comes to rescue of toy drive

By Lynn R. Parks

Christmas was growing near, and the Marine Corps League, detachment #780, based in Seaford, didn't have any place to store the hundreds of toys that it collects every year through Toys for Tots. Danny Messick, a charter member of the detachment, expressed his concerns about the situation to the owners of the Penco Corporation, a plumbing supply company also based in Seaford. And within days, an office suite in the Pence Public Warehouse complex was overflowing with toys. "They came to our rescue," said Messick. "Without them, we'd have nothing," added Frank Tulley, commandant of the detachment, also called the Delaware Devil Dogs. Until this year, the detachment stored toys that it collected at the home of member John Mechkowski. When Mechkowski became sick and couldn't take care of the toys this year, that set detachment members scrambling. The toy collection began in October. Detachment members were able to start using the Penco office suite in mid-November and will stay there until Jan. 15. The office suite is one of four such suites that Penco has in its warehouse complex, Penco Corporation secretary/treasurer Jeff Peterson said. The associated warehouse is rented out by Perdue Agribusiness, but the office suite, about 2,000 square feet, was vacant, Peterson said.

Penco is allowing Toys for Tots to use the suite at no charge. Normally, the space would rent from about $8 a square foot, or $16,000 a year, Peterson said. Penco is also paying the suite's utility bills. A Penco crew cleaned the suite before the detachment moved in. "When we found out about the need, there wasn't even a question that we would help out," Peterson said. "We have the space available and there are people in the community who have a need. This is just people helping people; that's what it's all about."

For your information: The Marine Corps League, detachment #780, has about 30 collection Toys for Tots collection boxes set up in Seaford, Blades and Laurel. Donations can also be arranged by contacting Danny Messick, 629-3971. The toy drive accepts all kinds of toys, including bicycles and electronic games. It particularly needs toys for boys and girls who are 8 to 14 years old.

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