Hanford

It’s not yet built, but vit plant already cranking out smiles

Jim Burks, a Hanford vitrification plant superintendent, and Michael Ridgel, a Toys for Tots coordinator, load toys into a truck for delivery at the vit plant construction site Thursday.
Jim Burks, a Hanford vitrification plant superintendent, and Michael Ridgel, a Toys for Tots coordinator, load toys into a truck for delivery at the vit plant construction site Thursday.

Thousands of Tri-City-area children will have a merrier Christmas, thanks to the Hanford nuclear reservation’s vitrification plant project.

Representatives of the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots were at the plant Thursday to help pick up thousands of donated toys and almost $24,000.

Donations were collected by project employees, contractor Bechtel National and subcontractor AECOM.

Employees and Bechtel designated $11,000 of the total to help pipefitters union Local 598 purchase 600 bicycles and safety helmets for Toys for Tots.

Pipefitters and other volunteers will assemble the bikes.

“Every year, the generous donations from Bechtel, AECOM and their employees help us to fulfill our mission — to ensure every child within our program receives a toy this holiday season,” said Michael Ridgel, Toys for Tots coordinator for the Tri-Cities area.

Griggs/Ace Hardware is making sure bicycle orders arrive in time for Christmas. Vintners Logistics is delivering the toys and bikes to Toys for Tots.

Those who want to donate a toy can deliver it unwrapped to Toyota of Tri-Cities in Kennewick or at the locations posted at bit.ly/TfTtoys.

Most locations accept toys through Dec. 15.

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