PUNXSUTAWNEY — While the school term is winding down toward break, the IUP-Punxsy campus held its annual Toys for Tots Dinner event Thursday night to celebrate its season of giving.
The event was open to the public as well as students.
The cost was $7 per person, plus attendees were to bring an unwrapped toy.
IUP Dining was in charge of the dinner and prepared a delicious meal of prime rib with shrimp, potatoes and green beans. Dessert and beverages were also served.
This year, IUP-Punxsy campus is helping out with two different charities — the Salvation Army's Angel Tree and the U.S. Marines' Toys for Tots campaign.
Lending a helping hand was Captain Keith Jache of the Salvation Army, as well as Marines Sergeant Huffman and Sergeant Harris, who helped collect toys.
A contest will be held for each floor of students as well as those housed at the Fairman Center.
Each floor of students is to buy and collect as many unwrapped toys as possible, and the floor collecting the most will receive a pizza party.
Students have one to two weeks to bring the toys down to the cafeteria, where
there are four different labeled boxes — one for for each floor and one for the Fairman Center.
The campus also participated in selling bulbs for $1 each. The bulbs are for the Salvation Army's Angel Tree.
Mysti Dinger, student services coordinator, said that the Escoffier Club, a student-run club for the culinary students, sold candy canes at a quarter each to raise money for Toys for Tots.
She said they managed to sell over 380 candy canes and made about $100.
Captain Jache said that the money raised will be used to buy presents for all the needy families in the area.
Also helping out with the event was Musser's Nursery, which donated a tree to liven up the atmosphere. The tree was decorated and placed in the cafeteria for all to see.
Music was provided by DJ Jammin' Jim, and making a surprise visit at this year’s event was the IUP mascot — Norm the Crimson Hawk. Norm made his rounds visiting with the public and students.
Also assisting was Chef Robert Stevens and Theo Turner, Assistant Dean of Students.
Members of The Salvation Army said they would like to thank Chef Stevens and the IUP dining staff for their help with the event.