Lehigh Valley

Gone in 64 seconds, Crayola style

Kids and Marines team up for a good cause and fun.

EASTON, Pa. - It's only fitting they'd come up with such a bright idea here.

"It's something that they created and reached out to us to ask us to help them," begins Sgt. Charles E. Bennett, with the United States Marines.

Three years ago the folks at Crayola Experience in Easton got in touch with the U.S. Marines.

They wanted to let three kids, chosen at random, run around the store and pick out toys and whatever the kids got, Crayola would duplicate for the Marine Toys for Tots program.

"We find it gets better every single year, the kids love it, and it also gives back to the community," says Matt Nelson, marketing assistant at Crayola Experience.

But there is a catch...

The kids only get 64 seconds (like the 64-count crayon box) and the Marines have to be able to hold it all…and they're serious about this mission.

"If I don't have them falling everywhere, then it's not good enough, you know?" Sgt. Bennett grins.

First comes scouting and strategy and just as the wonder of it all sets in, it's time.

Game face, check.

Shoelaces tied, check.

Countdown…3…2…1, Go!

Orianna Marshman, a 6-year-old from Easton tells us what she was going for:

"Superhero coloring book and Moana coloring book," she says.

"I grabbed as much of that stuff as I could!" Sgt. Bennett says, dutifully.

We don't want to say there was a winner....but...Sgt. Bennett had things falling off as him as the buzzer signaling the end of 64 seconds went off.

"He was good," Orianna says approvingly of her Marine.

"I try my best," Sgt. Bennett smiles.

Actually, everybody wins. The Marines, these kids - and based on their haul - dozens more this Christmas.

Color us impressed.

If you'd like to volunteer or donate to help the U.S. Marine Toys for Tots program, visit Allentown-pa@toysfortots.org. 

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