EAST BRUNSWICK – Toys started piling up on Dec. 11 at the East Brunswick Hilton as members of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 dropped off a toy on their way to the union’s annual holiday party.
Ranging from bicycles to Tonka trucks and electronics, the toys valued almost $50,000, according to union Business Manager Greg Lalevee in a statement prepared by Avow Communications.
Approximately 500 union members attended the party. Two members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in Red Bank – Sgt. Damar Walker and Sgt. Cornelius Thompson – took custody of the toys on behalf of the Toys for Tots program.
“Many of our members dropped off more than one toy,” Lalevee said in the statement. “These toys brighten many lives on Christmas morning – not just the children’s but also their parents’.”
Lalevee said he believes this year’s generous donations exceeded those of prior years.
“Our members have had a good year,” he said in the statement. “And this is one of the ways they give back to their communities.”
Local 825 is headquartered in Springfield and represents 7,000 operating engineers throughout New Jersey and five counties of lower New York. Its members operate heavy-equipment such as cranes, bulldozers, graders, pavers, pile drivers backhoes and loaders to execute large construction tasks and earthworks operations.