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CMCC Employees Collect More than 400 Toys During Annual ‘Toys for Tots’ Drive

December 18, 2012

Each year, since the 1990s, Atlantic Cape Community College employees Lisa Apel-Gendron of Dennisville, Tom Clark of Ocean View and Denise O’Connor of Cape May, have coordinated a Toys for Tots Drive at Atlantic Cape’s Cape May County location.

“We’ve been doing this since we were at the Rio Grande location,” Apel-Gendron said, of the small store-front location that preceded the full-service campus the college opened in Cape May Court House in 2005.

Preparation starts early. By shopping after-holiday sales, the trio is able to purchase hundreds of items to kick off the drive for the following year.

“Denise, Tom and I scour the sales after Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter each year to find toys and stuffed animals on sale,” Apel-Gendron said. “My best score last year was purchasing stuffed bears at 90 percent off in late January.”

Apel-Gendron, Clark and O’Connor’s enthusiasm for the drive has inspired many Atlantic Cape employees and students to contribute. During the 2012 holiday season, Atlantic Cape’s Toys for Tots drive generated more than 400 donations.

“This is Tom’s last holiday before he retires from Atlantic Cape, so we wanted to make this donation the best one yet,” Apel-Gendron said.