Tiger Toys for Tots

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COLUMBIA - The Mizzou Alumni Callaway County Chapter is putting a black and gold spin on a holiday toy drive by collecting tiger related toys for children in Callaway County.

"Everybody collects toys at Christmas time," Mary Ann Beahon, the chapter's founder said. 

"So we figured since we're Mizzou alumni, we would put a twist on it and make them tiger toys to go with our mascot." 

Beahon said any tiger related item will be accepted, including stuffed animals, puzzles or books. The chapter is also accepting regular toy donations. The toys will be donated to kids through Central Missouri Community Action in Fulton. 

Founded in 1995, the chapter has been collecting tiger toys since 2001.

"We do a lot of community service projects during the course of the year," Beahon said.

"At Christmas time we just want to make sure all children have some type of toy." 

Chapter president Mike Conner said he wants to make the drive a community effort. 

"We'd like to encourage the entire community to assist in this toy drive. With these Tiger toys, we hope to again brighten the holidays for some less-fortunate children," Conner said.

The drive is just one of the many community service events the chapter owns. The drive will help the chapter reach capstone status, which is the highest distinction a Mizzou alumni chapter can earn. If a chapter is extremely active in the community, the Mizzou Alumni Association will award the chapter with $4,000 to give away as a scholarship to a student in Callaway County. 

Beahon said she's happy that the chapter is able to give back to the community in so many different ways. 

Those interested in donating toys can drop off toys at Don Woodson's State Farm Office, 517 Nicholas Road in Fulton. The drive will run through December 8.