Toys for Tots: A Cordillera Ranch Tradition

Joe De Luna, Director of Tennis

Every year in December, The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch Tennis and Pickleball Club hosts its annual Toys for Tots event. This is a great way for our members to help make kids’ Christmas dreams come true.

The event format has changed over the years: it has been a tennis mixer, a guest pro clinic and pickleball play day. This year, games of tennis or pickleball were followed by a three-course luncheon in the Main Dining Room, with United States Marine Corps soldiers as our special guests. This is where the holiday magic happens. Each Club member is asked to bring at least one unwrapped toy for donation. The Marines collect the toys and deliver them to a distribution center in San Antonio where they are then delivered to kids from families in need in our surrounding area.

Why the Marines?
Toys for Tots began in 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, and fellow Marine Corp Reservists in California collected and distributed 5,000 toys to less fortunate kids in the Los Angeles area. The following year, Toys for Tots was expanded into a nationwide campaign and spread to every community where a U.S. Marine Corp Reserve Center was located. Over the last 60 years, the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve Toys for Tots Program has delivered more than 300 million toys to more than 150 million kids across the country. Major Bill Hendricks was in the reserves, but in civilian life he was a public relations director for Warner Brothers Studio in LA. He convinced many celebrities to join the cause and Walt Disney designed the first Toys for Tots logo that is still used today.

This has been such a fulfilling relationship between Cordillera Ranch and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Because of such generosity, Christmas is sure to be merry and bright for more kids than ever this year. It is also an honor to host members of our military, personally extend our appreciation and get to know their experiences.

Thank you to all who have participated over the years. We are truly grateful for your thoughtfulness and compassion.

Joe De Luna is the Director of Tennis at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at and 830.336.9180.

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