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TODAY: Toy drive to benefit Bay area foster kids

TODAY: Toy drive to benefit Bay area foster kids

Tampa, FL - You can help make the holidays a little happier for thousands of foster children in Hillsborough County.

The Guardian ad Litem program is holding a toy drive to benefit the children they work closely with every day. The goal of the volunteer program is to give the children a voice as they move through the court system and hopefully find a forever family.

"We want to make sure every one of our kids opens a Christmas gift," said coordinator Yvonne Marrone.

The Guardians are accepting brand new, unwrapped toys from 9am - 2pm at Christ the King Catholic Church on South Dale Mabry in South Tampa.

They are especially in need of toys for infants as well as teenagers.

For more information on volunteering to become a Guardian ad Litem, click here.

You can also call Yvonne Marrone directly at (813)307-3325.

Cookson Hills Toy Ride to benefit needy children

Cookson Hills Toy Ride to benefit needy children

Tampa, FL - It is hard to imagine the heart-breaking feeling of children waking up on Christmas Day only to find there's absolutely nothing under the tree for them.

That is why Bay area bikers are coming together in full force to try and make sure that doesn't happen.

For nearly 20 years, both men and women have taken part in the Cookson Hills Toy Run.  Over the years, the run has grown from helping only a dozen in its first year to nearly 500 last year.  

"Especially in these hard economic times, these kids deserve something to open during the holidays," said Sheri Brown, co-founder of the run.

Her husband Bill Brown, is a biker and says, the best part of the run is the feeling you get when you see the child's expression when you give him or her the toy. "Nothing beats that.  That is what keeps us going," said Brown.

Why do they call it that? Fletcher Avenue and Plant Field

Why do they call it that? Fletcher Avenue and Plant Field

There's an explosive story behind the name of Fletcher Avenue. Plus, the spot in the heart of Tampa where the great Babe Ruth blasted a record home run.

Why do they call it Fletcher Avenue?

Nobody's sure.

But three Tampa Bay historians -- Paul Camp, Leland Hawes, and Mark Greenberg -- agree it's most likely named for Fred Fletcher.

He came to Tampa just before 1900, and worked for what would eventually become Tampa Electric Company, or TECO.

His big project was managing the concrete for the first electricity-producing dam across the Hillsborough River. It was built -- and promptly blown up.

It seems cattle ranchers were mighty angry. The dam had flooded the electric company land they had been using to graze their cattle.

Their answer was dynamite.

The Fletcher behind Fletcher Avenue could also be Fred's son, Eliot.