The 31st Annual 2 Service Battalion Trucker’s Toy Drive received approximately $6,500 in cash donations and about $14,000 worth of toys and non-perishable food items. The Truckers delivered their payload on Dec. 17 to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517 Petawawa. They worked with the Legion and the Petawawa Pantry food bank to ensure that everyone in the area has an incredible Christmas. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)


31st Trucker’s Toy Drive doubles amount of toys and cash collected for families

By Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post

Posted on Thursday December 20, 2018


The 31st Annual 2 Service Battalion Trucker’s Toy Drive surpassed any expectations, collecting at least twice as many toys and non-perishable food items as last year; about $6,500 in cash donations and $14,000 worth of toys, games and food items.

“It was very gracious of the people in Pembroke, Petawawa, and surroundings to give back to the community like this,” said Organizer Warrant Officer (WO) Dan Guigue.

It was his first year in this role but he isn’t surprised to see such kindness. People in the area have always been very supportive of the toy drive and know the importance of helping one another.

“Everybody should have a Christmas,” said WO Guigue. “Not just us and people who can afford it. I think every kid should wake up to a toy or something on that special day.”

The toy drive has always been an act of love, and this year is no exception.

It took countless hours of fundraisers and canvassing to collect so many toys. To keep things fresh, the parade float was revamped and brought to the three local parades in Petawawa, Pembroke, and Eganville. The Truckers even volunteered to help during Christmas leave on Dec. 17 to deliver the gifts to the Legion, and most stayed to sort through them, making distributing them to the families easier.

“We just kept on trucking, to the end and the fruits of our labour show for themselves,” said WO Guigue, adding his troops were more than happy to help.

The Truckers work with the Petawawa Pantry and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517 to make Christmas bright for everyone.

The sheer volume of donations astounded volunteers from all three groups.

“This is way more than we’ve had any other year,” Legion 2nd Vice John MacQueen said. “We are well able to help all our families and we are going to be helping some Pembroke families, some Cobden families and I just took in a lady in Ottawa, so we are going to help everybody we can.”

At the moment, they have 85 families which include 67 kids under the age of 12, and 25 teenagers. The teens will receive gift cards so they can pick their own gifts while the little ones will receive donated items. Last year, everyone took home about four or five gifts and this year, they are going to receive eight to ten gifts each.

“It is overwhelming and better than we expected,” said Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Bill McBeigh.

The organizers wanted to extend sincere thanks to everyone who participated in the toy drive, which includes Garrison Petawawa Units and their members, Canex, the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA), Morgan LaVie from Ottawa Valley Physiotherapy, Power of You Fitness and Yoga Studio, the Bath Boutique, Kendra Johnsen from Crossfit Poise, Hyska’s Your Independent Grocer, Victoria Cleary from VC Athletic Therapy and Bracing, Hart, Red Apple, Looking Glass Toys, CANNA Connect, Pembroke’s West End Mall and the Petawawa Legion. Wal-Mart and 638 Algonquin Air Cadet in Pembroke were also integral to helping the Truckers reach their goal.

The sheer volume of donations astounded volunteers from all three groups.

“This is way more than we’ve had any other year,” Legion 2nd Vice John MacQueen said. “We are well able to help all our families and we are going to be helping some Pembroke families, some Cobden families and I just took in a lady in Ottawa, so we are going to help everybody we can.”

At the moment, they have 85 families which include 67 kids under the age of 12, and 25 teenagers. The teens will receive gift cards so they can pick their own gifts while the little ones will receive donated items. Last year, everyone took home about four or five gifts and this year, they are going to receive eight to ten gifts each.

“It is overwhelming and better than we expected,” said Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Bill McBeigh.

The organizers wanted to extend sincere thanks to everyone who participated in the toy drive, which includes Garrison Petawawa Units and their members, Canex, the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA), Morgan LaVie from Ottawa Valley Physiotherapy, Power of You Fitness and Yoga Studio, the Bath Boutique, Kendra Johnsen from Crossfit Poise, Hyska’s Your Independent Grocer, Victoria Cleary from VC Athletic Therapy and Bracing, Hart, Red Apple, Looking Glass Toys, CANNA Connect, Pembroke’s West End Mall and the Petawawa Legion. Wal-Mart and 638 Algonquin Air Cadet in Pembroke were also integral to helping the Truckers reach their goal.