Paintballers Raise Money/Toys for Kids

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Paintball enthusiasts from around the southeast gathered on Sunday.

It's a chance to find out who's got the best team in the area and to give back to the community.

After watching today's tournament, it’s clear: paintballers are definitely a different breed.

Many are in it for the “hardcore” adrenaline rush but those who participated also showed a softer side.

The paintballers had their game faces on Sunday morning.

“It's shear adrenaline when you're playing the game,” said Jimmy Coleson, Co-Captain of the L.A. (Lower Alabama) SWAT Team.

But these adrenaline junkies are shooting each other up for a good cause.

“All the teams that want to play we just ask they bring a $20, unwrapped toy as their entry fee,” said Coleson.

“All the money and all the toys went to Toys for Tots which all stays right here in the wiregrass area,” said Mike Walton, Coordinator for Toys for Tots.

11 teams of three showed up at the Toys for Tots fundraiser at Dothan Survival Games located on Highway 84 east.

Participants say it's a good way to get their fix while helping the community.

“They've got about 1,400 kids they've got to take care of this year so it makes us feel good that we can come out here and do something good for the kids and the community,” said paintballer Patrick McDaniel.

“To me the best part of it is helping these kids that need a little help at Christmas time but on the flip side of it is I get to hang out here with my team my friends,” said Coleson.

Toys for Tots was founded in 1947 by the U.S. Marine Corps and organizers say events like this help keep their mission alive.

“Every little bit every event is important to our cause, every toy we get, every dollar we get, it all adds up,” said Walton.

Many say doing what they love and helping the needy is a win-win situation.

“We've got a lot of friends from other areas that come and play this event because they want to come play paintball and they want to do something to contribute to that cause,” said Coleson.
“We all love playing paintball and it's just a great excuse to play some paintball,” said McDaniel.

But just make sure you watch your back.

“They are excellent as long as they don't shoot me!” said Walton of the participants.
This is the 4th year the Toys for Tots tournament has been held in Dothan.

Sunday, the organization collected more than $300 in cash and about 50 toys.

Organizers say they have about 670 families who have signed up this year, so every little bit helps.

The wiregrass area toys for tots program services five counties: Houston, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Coffee.


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