CHiPs 4 Kids held a party at Gators Sports Bar & Grill in Apple Valley on Friday, December 6 to finalize the collection of toys for the California Highway Patrol’s annual toy drive.
CHiPs TV Show (1977-83) stars Larry Wilcox, Robert Pine and Paul Linke were on hand at the party to help celebrate the toy collection event.
Robert Pine said, “The thought of a child not having a present? There’s just something not right about that. I’ve enjoyed 71 Christmases myself. And I have children and grandchildren.”
Larry Wilcox spoke of an African tribe who wouldn’t greet a passersby with, How are you doing? But, rather, How are the children? “It was the most important thing… How are the children? We’ve got some good gifts here today, thanks to the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Optimist Club, and all the others who contributed,” he said.
The CHP collected new, unwrapped toys that were distributed to the various agencies in the High Desert that help families who are in need, including the local homeless shelter, Catholic Charities and several others, according to Officer Joaquin Zubieta, Public Information Officer with the Victorville CHP. “All the toys we collect will stay here in the High Desert,” he said.
Toy donations were accepted at the CHP office on Amargosa, along with collection boxes at businesses. Items collected included bicycles, bicycle helmets, skateboards, cars, dolls, and much more, including some cool stuff for teenagers.
High Desert Homeless Services Inc. was the final major event of the CHiPs for Kids program, held on Thursday, December 18, where about 350 toys were given away to 250 children in need. Santa and Mrs. Claus were there, along with Chipper the CHP mascot.
About 2,500 toys were given away by the time the program came to an end. CHP’s senior volunteers worked hard to gather the toys, along with many other the members of the community.