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148th Toy Drive Honors Late Airman

Updated: 12/16/2013 11:01 PM
Created: 12/16/2013 5:45 PM WDIO.com

Members of the 148th Fighter Wing delivered toys and bikes to the Salvation Army on Monday afternoon. It's something they've done in the past. But this year, is more poignant.

"The Ryan Ewald Memorial Toy Drive is dedicated to the efforts of the late Technical Sgt. Ryan Ewald, who died as a result of an ATV accident in Northeastern Minnesota on Sept. 28, 2013," said Air Force Capt. Jodi Kiminski, 148th Fighter Wing Executive Officer.

His friend, Master Sgt. Ryan Gigliotti, was there at the drop-off. "It is little emotional, bringing these gifts in and thinking of him. But he'd be proud." Gigliotti estimates they collected about $2500, to buy toys and bikes.

Ewald started a children's bike drive in 2010 with the majority of donations coming from 148th FW crew chiefs. The sudden death of Ewald spurred fellow Airmen to expand the drive, reaching out to not only the Wing community but the local community.

The Salvation Army was very pleased, since their Toyland Express starts tomorrow, and they were short 2000 gifts Monday morning.

You can still drop off gifts at the office through Thursday. The address is: 215 S 27th Ave W in Duluth.

Ewald and his wife have two little girls. A college fund has been set up for them at the Hermantown Federal Credit Union. Phone number: 218-729-7733

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