New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
Selflessness is part of the Christmas spirit.
But two Neshannock junior high school students went above and beyond this season.
Seventh-graders and second cousins Alex Clark and Joey Carna recently celebrated birthdays, but instead of asking for gifts, they requested that guests take toys to their joint birthday party as donations for the Marines’ Toys for Tots program.
In mid-December, the box at the Marines recruiting station contained about 10 toys, according to Marine Sgt. Jose Vargas, recruiter.
That amount suddenly multiplied by 10 times.
Those who attended the boys’ party at the New Castle Country Club on Dec. 14 donated more than 100 toys.
Alex turned 13 on Dec. 12 and Joey’s 13th birthday was the day of the event, which was the idea of Kathy Carna, Joey’s mother.
She and her husband, Jimmy, are members of the country club.
“We invited 100 of the boys’ closest friends,” said a very proud LeRoy Clark, Alex’s father. “It was the boys’ idea to ask that guests bring a wrapped gift and mark it for a boy or girl.
“It showed a lot of maturity on their part,” he continued. “Both are very caring individuals. The party was enough of a gift for them.”
The boys came up with the idea after seeing Toys for Tots boxes at school, Joey explained.
“Since Christmas is right around the corner, we really didn’t need that much,” he said. “It’s nice to make kids smile at Christmas.”
Alex pointed out that it was special and exciting to be in the presence of the Marines, and he was pleased to offer assistance this time of year.
“It’s a good feeling to help others,” Alex said, adding he would like to continue with ways to give back to the community.
Vargas and 10 or 11 Marine recruits showed up at the country club to receive the gifts.
“It gave us a sense of pride to present the gifts to the Marines,” Joey noted.
“When Mr. Clark called me, I couldn’t say no to that,” Vargas explained, adding all the toys were distributed to less fortunate families with children in Lawrence County.
“Thank you to these two boys and LeRoy,” he continued. “This type of thing makes me really happy and proud to be a Marine to help the kids. The Marines aren’t just about being in war, but taking care of the community, too.”
(Email: lhudson @ncnewsonline.com)