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Vietnam War Era PBR filled with toys for Ronald McDonald House

Posted at 5:31 AM, Oct 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-07 05:31:05-04

MUSKEGON, Mich.--A Vietnam war-era Navy River Patrol Boat was on display at Walmart in Muskegon Saturday as dozens of people came by to help thE US Coast Guard Auxiliary fill the boat with toys and household items for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House OF Western Michigan.

A big task for a group of Coast Guard Auxiliary members. But when duty calls, the group says they come running.

"We don't want anything back, in return, we just want to say thank you for what you do for other families," says Tom Hoisington, US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

This is the first year Tom Hoisington is hosting the giveback in his hometown for the Ronald McDonald House.

But, he's got some help.

Remember Robert Bowyer, he started restoring a PBR 7331 two years ago and now he's using it to continue to help those in his community.

"This is an opportunity for us to give back to the community there's people who want to help children I would have been ok to be totally off the radar just so they can benefit of our presence," says Robert Bowyer who donated PBR boat for fundraiser.

And they did.

Whether they were drawn in by the massive boat or the smiling faces.

Dozens of people stopped by between 10 am and 3 pm with toys and household items to help fill the boat and contribute the items to the Ronald McDonald House.

Since 1990, the Ronald McDonald House has provided housing for families who come to Grand Rapids for cancer treatment and a new Batman toy can make all the difference in a family’s stay.

"A lot of the times they're not able to get out and shop and go home and get things that they need for their families so when they see us come in and do these things for them they're super excited,: says Renee Davis, Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan.

A passion project for Hoisington, over the last eight years he's taken the "Fill-The-Boat" challenge to many states in the US.

But to be able to make it happen for the the Ronald McDonald House in his home state is an accomplishment he says he's more than proud of.

"Basically the outcome is really wonderful for me," says Hoisington.

For more information on the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan, please visit this website.