History of the Del Vets Toys for Tots
5K Run/ Walk Race
by Sam Minutola
The race was born November 10th 1997 up at Cookies Tavern Marine Bar up in South Philly, Pa. Owner Jim “Daddy Wags” Wagner, who was the biggest fund raiser in the tri state area for TOYS FOR TOTS and was a post member of DelVets.
In the 1998 & 1999 races, thanks to employees Kevin Reilly and Tom Pitts employees, Xerox became a big sponsor. This inspired Post member Lee Mitchell to come up with a great idea. His idea was to approach DelVets members that owned businesses to become long time sponsors.
Over the years the following companies have sponsored the Toys for Tots 5K Run/Walk Race:
- KBS CONSTRUCTION – Lee Mitchell
- MONARCH MUFFLER – Art Chernekoff
- MAICHLE’S HEATING& AIR CONDITIONING, INC – John Maichle
- ELLMORE AUTO COLLISIONS – Kevin Ellmore
- MICHAEL H. BREWER INSURANCE
- DAVE’S LIMOUSINE
- DUHADAWAY TOOL& DIE – John O’Donnell
- FRANK BROS. CONSTRUCTION – Billy Frank
- DELVETS WAC’S
- DEB MARKWOOD
- JACK HOUCK
Frank and Sam Minutola with Wag’s Daughter Jamie
DelVets Marines, post members and friends in the mid 1980 and 90’s would go up to Cookie Tavern to celebrate the Marine Corp Birthday on November 10th. We also helped out working the beer trucks, serving many a beer to those in attendance!!! Some names that comes to my mind; Rich Robichaud, Scotty Price, Bobby Castellani, Moon Reilly, Bob Zerbe, Joe Barnes, Terry Figerilli, Billy Frank. As the years progressed; Harvey Freville, Tom Cassidy, Barb Kessler, Lisa Montella, Teresa Fehlandt, Maria Reilly, Frank Minutola and many more who ‘names we missed’.
3 Co-Founders of the Del Vets Toys For Tots
The three Co- Founders of the race were Tom Pitts, Bobby Chris & Sam Minutola. They approached Wags that night in 1997 and asked how they could help raise funds for Toys for Tots. That’s when Tom Pitts suggested having a 5k race and the rest is history.
Bob Chris, Tom Pitts, Debbie Markwood Pitts, Bruce Donnelly, Gayle Kasley, Bob Moynihan, Theresa Guyer, Sam Minutola Missing: Charlie Pew McHugh & Luann John’s
In closing, we like to thank all the Past Commanders & E-board members who supported the 5k race over the last 25 years. Thanks also to all the post members who ran/walked supported the race making DelVets a top fund raiser in the state raising over an estimated $100.000.00!
A big SEMPER FI to all the chairmen and cochairmen over the years as follows:
Bob Moynihan, Tom Pitts (Bob Chris, Sam Minutola) Tom Pitts Jr., Bruce Broaddus (Mike Griffith & Sam Minutola) Tom & Barb Cassidy
HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL NOV 5th RACE DAY 8 am-11 am
Want to see how much you know about the Toys for Tots 5K Run/Walk Race throughout the years? Take the Trivia Challenge