Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts Toys for Tots Drive
The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts (Boston, MA) will host the Annual Toys for Tots Drive on Monday, December 11th at the Coast Guard Base at 427 Commercial Street, Boston, MA fro 6PM - 8:30PM.
Toys for Tots began as a Los Angeles charitable effort in 1947. Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, was inspired by his wife Diane when she tried to donate a homemade Raggedy Ann doll to a needy child but couldn't find any organization to do so. At her suggestion, he gathered a group of local Marine reservists, who coordinated and collected some 5,000 toys for local children that year from collection bins placed outside Warner Bros. movie theaters. Their efforts were so successful that, in 1948, Toys for Tots was launched as a national campaign. Hendricks used his position as director of Public Relations for Warner Brothers Studio to enlist celebrity support, as well as have Walt Disney Studios design the red toy train logo. A theme song for the program was written in 1956 by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster, and would be recorded by Nat King Cole, among others.
The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts is the oldest chartered military organization in the western hemisphere, founded by a member of the Honourable Artillery Company of London. Its charter was granted in March 1638 by the Great and General Court of Massachusetts Bay and signed by Governor John Winthrop. The "AHAC" is the 3rd oldest chartered military organization in the world behind the Swiss Guard, founded in 1506 and the Honourable Artillery Company of London, founded in 1537. The membership has included 10 Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients, 4 Presidents of the United States and service men and women that have fought in every war and conflict in service to their colony, Commonwealth, and Nation.
LT Barton Hyte
Public Affairs Officer