Hill Country Community Band members Jesse Randall, Mike Jenkins, and Michelle Kirkland entertain KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune listeners during The Picayune-KBEY Toy Drive on Dec. 7. KBEY broadcast live from Chevrolet-Buick in Marble Falls (pictured) and the Burnet Fire Station. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell
Highland Lakes Santas turned out in droves for The Picayune Magazine-KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune Toy Drive on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Broadcast live all day from both Burnet and Marble Falls, the drive brought in $7,033 in monetary donations and hundreds of new toys.
“This community always pulls through,” said KBEY Operations Manager Ben Shields.
A veteran of the annual toy drive, which began in 2011, Shields described the day’s mood as festive.
“Everyone was excited to help our kids,” he continued. “The Highland Lakes really comes through to help Santa put presents under the tree.”
Shields was at Chevrolet-Buick, 2301 U.S. 281 North in Marble Falls. The lobby, decorated for the holidays, rang with music from Smoking for Jesus Ministry and the Hill Country Community Band for KBEY listeners to enjoy.
Now in his second year broadcasting from the Burnet Fire Station, 2002 U.S. 281 South, morning show host Mac McClennahan said community spirit in the north half of the county was boosted by the firefighters and paramedics who hung out all day and helped collect and bag the toys.
“I have seen the real heart of this community,” he said. “It was exciting to see every single gift that came in and to see the help we got from our firefighters and paramedics.”
Also on hand were Burnet County Precinct 2 Commissioner Damon Beierle and Burnet County Clerk-elect Vicinta Stafford, who helps run Burnet County Santa’s Helpers.
“The organizations that benefit were overwhelmed,” McClennahan said. “And we are all thankful for our listeners, who came through with the money and the toys. It’s an amazing experience for a really good cause.”
Santa’s Helpers is one of three organizations that will distribute the toys. Donations also go to Highland Lakes Christmas is for Kids and Granite Shoals Christmas Outreach.
Toy distribution day is Dec. 16. Apply for toys based on where you live:
Residents in north Burnet County — Burnet County Clerk’s Office in the courthouse, 220 S. Pierce St. in Burnet
Parents of students at Highland Lakes Elementary School in Granite Shoals — Call 830-798-3650 and ask a staff member to fill out an application over the phone or drop by the school.
Marble Falls residents — The Helping Center of Marble Falls, 1315 Broadway, or the Department of Health and Human Services, 1406 Resource Parkway
OTHER WAYS TO DONATE
Other programs are also collecting and distributing toys to different constituencies in the Highland Lakes.
Provides new, unwrapped toys for ages infant to 12 years old. No restrictions on where children live for distribution day on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Highland Lakes Elementary School in Granite Shoals. The event runs from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and includes holiday activities. Drop off donations at the food pantry or call Pastors Mary Lou and Roy Guerrero at 830-220-2344.
Blue Santa also provides toys for Highland Lakes Christmas is for Kids. Drop-off donations are:
Marble Falls Public Safety Building, 606 Avenue N
Marble Falls Fire Rescue, 700 Avenue N
Marble Falls City Hall, 800 Third St.
Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Department, 1808 Second St.
Cash and check donations may be dropped off to the Records Clerk at the Marble Falls Public Safety facility. Make checks payable to Highland Lakes Christmas is for Kids, Inc. You may also mail checks to P.O Box 1750, Marble Falls, TX 78654. Call Officer James French at 830-693-3611 for more information.
Donate new, unwrapped toys or pick up applications for toys at the Sheriff’s Office address above. This year, Brown Santa is also accepting gift cards for teens. Deadline for applications for toys was Dec. 5. Toys are distributed by sheriff’s deputies beginning sometime around Dec. 7. For more information, contact Veronica White at firstname.lastname@example.org or 325-247-5050.
Pick a card from an Angel Tree to fulfill the wishes of a foster family. Deadline is Dec. 12 to bring in items requested on the Angel Tree cards.
Angel trees can be found at Main Street Consignments, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Harmony School of Creative Arts, Marble Falls Middle School, Atkins Pharmacy and Gifts, Highland Lakes Dental, Bright City Ministries, Security State Bank and Trust, REMAX of Marble Falls, and Heart and Soul, all in Marble Falls. You can also drop off donations at Lake Country Dental in Horseshoe Bay, Texas Farm Bureau in Burnet, and Cadence Bank in Kingsland.