Long before winter break hit, Dallas Ranch Middle had the holiday spirit in full swing.

The Antioch school hosted a Toys for Tots drive in partnership with Rotary Club of the Delta. The recent event came complete with the bonus of two Marines to greet the students as they filled the donations bins.

"The parents were wonderful about sending toys with the students," said Paula McEvoy, vice principal. She said the PTA was also a big help in getting out the word.

McEvoy said the collection went very well. "We had two Marines on site to shake hands with students and collect toys. They did a wonderful job."

Having the Marines at the school was a real bonus for the students, who asked all sorts of questions.

Three big boxes of toys were then distributed to Antioch children in need for the holidays.

"I think it's important for students to learn about civic responsibility and know that they have the power to make a difference at any time in anyone's life in many ways," McEvoy said. "As a member of Rotary, it's about helping the community and serving the families to make our community better."

She thinks the toy program is important and hopes to repeat it next year.

"Students were very excited to meet the Marines and to give to the community. They were walking tall."

Retired Marine and Rotary member Brian Vargas coordinated the big give.


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"He grew up in Antioch and was my student at Park (Middle)," McEvoy said about the Antioch High grad. "It is an honor and pleasure to work side by side with him on so many great Rotary events."

REMEMBERING THE KING: The city of Antioch and the Antioch school district are gearing up for the Sixth Annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration and scholarship presentation, which will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 20 at Deer Valley High School, 4700 Lone Tree Way.

Deadline for the student scholarship application is 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8. Applications are available at http://art4antioch.org/MLKScholarship.asp. Scholarships are for middle and high school students in the AUSD boundaries. Forms can be turned in to the district office at 510 G St.

This year's celebration will include author Maggie Anderson as the keynote speaker. The event is the brainchild of former Antioch City Councilman Reggie Moore, who wanted to celebrate King's historical contributions and create a scholarship program. According to the news release, "Antioch's Mayor Wade Harper and the school board president have continued the celebration with the support of business and community leaders."In addition to the city and AUSD, the event is also sponsored by county Supervisor Federal Glover, Republic Services, Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades and Antioch's Arts & Cultural Foundation.

For more information, call 925-325-9897 or email Diane@Art4Antioch.org.

If you have school news to share, contact Trine Gallegos at trineg@att.net. Note: Trine also does community outreach for Antioch High.