Chief Justice Brent Benjamin, left, Justice Thomas McHugh, rear, and Justice Margaret Workman, right, pose with members of the United States Marines during a state Supreme Court lunch on Dec. 11. (Photos courtesy of the Supreme Court)

Some of the toys collected for the Toys for Tots campaign.

CHARLESTON -– Justices and employees of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and others donated toys to the Toys for Tots program during a recent holiday lunch.

The court has been collecting toys for several weeks. The Winfield Scotts 4-H Club in Putnam County also brought its collection of 85 toys to the Court to be picked up at the Dec. 11 court luncheon, thanks to 4-H leader Toni Takarsh, a law clerk for Justice Robin Jean Davis.

The toys were picked up by Lance Cpl. Erik Morris, 20, of Summersville; Lance Cpl. Travis Weese, 24, of St. Albans ; Lance Cpl. Ryan Davis, 24, of Dayton, Ohio; and Sgt. Leonard Oleson, 23, of Charleston. The Marines, all of the Alpha Company, Fourth Combat Engineer Battalion based in Cross Lanes, joined Chief Justice Brent Benjamin, Justice Margaret Workman, Justice Thomas McHugh and court employees for lunch.

The donation marks the fourth consecutive year the Supreme Court and its employees have participated in the Toys for Tots program.

The Toys for Tots program began in 1947, when it distributed 5,000 toys to children in the Los Angeles area. Since then, it has distributed millions of toys to children across the country. The Marines and those who help them want to motivate children to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens, and community leaders.

That goal meshes with the Supreme Court's mission to improve the administration of justice and increase services to citizens. The Toys for Tots program is a way to address the physical needs and wants of West Virginia's youngest citizens.

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