BAINBRIDGE – The Toys for Tots Christmas Train will be chugging to a stop at the Walnut Street Crossing, 12:05 p.m. Saturday in Bainbridge. Train organizers from the Marine Corps League in the Albany area, will combine their military precision with their charitable spirit to bring bag fulls of toys to organizations in the Chenango and tri-county region.
Canadian Pacific Railway transports the Marines and their precious cargo across the state. The annual expedition used to be the responsibility of the Fox Company reservists, but budget cuts have meant a reshuffling of Marines and Fox Company has relocated out of state.
“We’ve been taking the brunt of it,” laughed Bob Becker of the Marine Corps League, who, along with his fraternity of retired Marines hailing from the capital region have taken up the reins of the New York State Toys for Tots program. Becker has been involved with the state’s Toys for Tots program for 45 years while the Marine Corps League as an organization joined him some 25 years ago.
The Christmas Train will be hauling somewhere between 6,000 to 7,000 toys, to be disseminated throughout the state from its six different stops between Binghamton and Delanson. On Saturday, Canadian Pacific will be making a quick stop in Binghamton to hand over some of their cache to organizations in Broom County, before making its way up to Bainbridge.