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Toy drive doubles as child safety event
Generosity doesn't take a back seat
Safe WEB 1
Nicole McFarland fills out paperwork as daughter Mary Elizabeth waits to get her seat inspected Friday. - photo by Autumn Vetter

For Ryan Schrilla, the decision to drop off a few toys for Toys for Tots was easy.

The Forsyth County resident said he grew up poor, and at one point in his childhood called a Cutlass Sierra home.

“It’s Christmas, everybody needs a toy right?” Schrilla said.

Georgia State Patrol Post 37, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and Safe Kids of Forsyth County and Gainesville/Hall County joined forces to collect toys for the organization.

The effort was held Friday afternoon in the parking lot of Walmart on Market Place Boulevard in Cumming.

Authorities received donations ranging from board games and toy cars to dolls and stuffed animals.

Representatives of the groups also checked child safety seats to ensure they were properly installed.

Trooper Mark Cox said one mother was given a new seat Friday after hers was determined to be unsafe for her child.

Local mom Brenda Alhir brought her minivan by so all three of her children’s seats could be evaluated.

“I think it’s just a good idea, even though I think I know that I have it correctly,” she said.

Alhir explained that she and her husband take their children’s safety seriously.

In fact, the seats in which her children ride are made by the same company that makes seats for NASCAR, she said.

“Once you’ve been in an accident, it changes your perspective,” she said.