/ The Las Vegas Adventurer
Las Vegas — By Lynn Goya on December 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm
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Vegas Lights the Nation’s Tallest Christmas Tree

In the first of what it hopes will become an annual tradition, M Resort Spa and Casino lights the tallest tree in the nation while supporting a handful of key annual charities.  The event will feature special performances by local school choirs, hot chocolate, Christmas cookies and Santa’s Helpers who will support Three Square Food Bank, Catholic Charities and Toys for Tots.  Guests are invited to bring new and gently used coats, and new unwrapped toys to donate.

Christmas Tree Pass holiday balls

Clark County, home to Las Vegas, has 210,000 people living below the poverty line and is known as one of the communities hardest hit by this recession. 45.5 percent of Las Vegas school children currently qualify for free or reduced lunch and 1/10 Nevadans will experience hunger during this holiday season.

Three Square is the valley’s food hub; a central location where donated and rescued bakery, produce, dairy, non-perishable products and ready-to-eat meals can be collected and distributed. A national model project, Three Square is a community collaborative partnership with the gaming industry, businesses, non-profit agencies, food distributors, UNLV, the CCSD, governmental entities, the media and hundreds of volunteers to efficiently and effectively serve hope to the hungry.

Toys for tots Began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks, USCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children.  The idea came from Bill’s wife, Diane.  In the fall of 1947, Diane crafted a homemade doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to a needy child at Christmas.  When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one.  He did.  The 1947 pilot project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign.  That year, Marine Corps Reserve units across the nation conducted Toys for Tots campaigns in each community in which a Marine Reserve Center was located.  Marines have conducted successful nationwide campaigns at Christmas each year since 1948.  The initial objective remains: to “bring the joy of Christmas to America’s needy children.” Over the 62 years of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, Marines have distributed more than 400 million toys to more than 188 million needy children.  This charitable endeavor has made U. S. Marines the unchallenged leader in looking after less fortunate children at Christmas.  Over its 18 year life span, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has supplemented local toy collections with more than 81.3 million toys valued at more than $487 million; plus has provided promotion and support materials valued at over $6.3 million.

Catholic Charities is one of the largest charitable organizations in the community and provides, food, shelter, resources, adoption services and clothing to everyone from infants to seniors, regardless of faith.

The Lighting of the Nation’s Tallest Christmas Tree

Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 5 – 8 p.m.


12300 Las Vegas Blvd. S

Henderson, Nevada 89044 (map it)


Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada

1501 Las Vegas Blvd. North


Three Square

4190 North Pecos Road


Toys for Tots

direct donations may be made online or sent to:

MCL/Toys For Tots and send to:
Mr. Tom McGrath, PO Box 28678, Las Vegas, NV 89126-2678

or call 702-632-1516

Image copyright Alan Goya.

Related places:
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