DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — A truck rolled into the Madyln’s parking lot Dec. 12 with a man wearing a cowboy hat behind the wheel. He rolled down the window and motioned over Ben Shields of KBEY 103.9 FM.
The two spoke briefly as the man placed something in Shields’ hand.
Then, he drove off. Shields looked at his hand and found a $100 bill for the first KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune and The Picayune Toy Drive benefitting Highland Lakes Christmas Is For Kids and Burnet County Santa’s Helpers.
“He just wanted to remain anonymous,” Shields said as he laid the bill down on the table.
The story replayed itself throughout the day during the toy drive. People pulled up, dropped off toys or monetary donations. Some gave their names, others didn’t.
All, however, wanted to make sure every child in the Highland Lakes found a present under the tree come Christmas Day.
“I was absolutely thrilled about the turnout,” said Cindi Ashford of KBEY and The Picayune. Ashford was one of the driving forces behind the event.
Highland Lakes residents donated more than $1,400 and “a lot of toys,” she said.
“I was surprised, a little, by the amount of cash donations we had, especially late in the day,” Ashford said. “But it just goes to show how much this community cares for each other.”
The Marble Falls Fire Rescue and the Marble Falls Area EMS also stopped by to show their support along with many other local officials.
“The Marble Falls EMS was just awesome,” Ashford said. “They were just so into it and really helped make this drive a success. We really appreciate them and the firefighters taking time to come by and help us out.”
At the end of the day, the toys and money were split between Christmas Is For Kids and Burnet County Santa’s Helpers.
Both organizations work around the year to raise money and collect toy and clothing donations so no child faces a Christmas morning without presents under the tree.
People still can get involved. Burnet County Santa’s Helpers is sorting and wrapping gifts through Dec. 20 at the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, 1601 Polk St. (Texas 29) in Burnet, during regular business hours, and volunteers are needed. Call the sheriff’s office at (512) 756-8080 for more information.
The Highland Lakes Christmas Is For Kids is holding its annual sorting and sacking Dec. 20-21 at Marble Falls Middle School, 1511 Pony Circle Drive in Marble Falls. The sorting, where volunteers set out the toys and other items in piles based on age and gender appropriateness, is 6 p.m. Dec. 20.
At 9 a.m. Dec. 21, volunteers will sack the gifts from children’s Christmas lists. Then, the gifts are handed out at 1:30 p.m. at the middle school. People can just show up on either day and give as little or as much time as they can.