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thedrifter
12-23-08, 08:38 AM
Marines give unsuspecting Norman students toys
BY JENNIFER GRISWOLD
Published: December 23, 2008

NORMAN — Screams and cheers erupted from the Madison Elementary School gymnasium when Marines stormed in — bearing gifts.

The more than 600 students at the school each received a present from the U.S. Marine Corps on Friday as part of its annual Toys for Tots program.

The school was selected after teachers submitted several students’ names to receive a Christmas present through the program. Marine representatives decided to bring gifts for the entire student body, said Lisa Cook, a teacher’s assistant.

"They felt all of our kids would be deserving of a toy, instead of singling out just a few,” she said.

Students thought the Marines were just coming to pick up toys they had collected during a drive this fall.

Tori Kitchel, 9, was surprised by the toy announcement. She picked out a Hannah Montana game. "Everyone in my class was screaming,” she said.

It’s been a hard year for many families, said teacher Susan Hills. "We have lots of kids who don’t get anything, so this is very exciting for them.”

Sgt. Kenny Sipe helped with the toy delivery. Last Christmas he was in Iraq. This is the second toy giveaway he’s done this year.

"Just to see how these kids react; it’s fun to do,” he said. "But when you’re doing this for a school that’s truly needy, it makes everything worthwhile.”

Ellie