Vinny DiPasquale’s life is a little slower these days after his almost 1,400 mile journey to Gulfport, Mississippi last December to deliver toys to an elementary school housing victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The 15-year-old Rock Canyon High School student undertook the project to earn his Eagle Scout badge from Troop 316 in Castle Pines. Vinny posted his toy drive on the Castle Pines North Master Association web site and put a toy collection drop box at BB’s Coffee House in the Village Square Shopping Center. He also spoke to civic groups and local Rotary Clubs.
“The Castle Pines North community helped out a lot with donations,” said Vinny. King Soopers in the Shoppes at Castle Pines donated the six-foot Noble Fir for West Elementary School in Mississippi. “A lot of them (the kids) hadn’t seen real Christmas trees before,” he said.
Castle Pines North residents and business made huge contributions to the project, and the outreach spanned across the States. According to Vinny, there was a woman in Pennsylvania who did a ‘Google’ search for ‘Katrina Toys’ locations and found his posting on the Castle Pines North Master Association web site and made a donation.
In the end, Vinny raised approximately $1,400 and collected over 700 toys for his project. He is in the process of completing the necessary documentation to earn his Eagle Scout badge later this year. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of the local community,” said Vinny. “Thanks to BB’s and everyone else because it really made a difference.”