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Toy drive held at Vienna business

Ashlen Martin, 13, with toys for foster children collected Sunday at Jon Six Hair Company, 1509 Grand Central Ave., Suite 2 in Vienna. (Photo Provided)

VIENNA — A total of 450 toys were collected Sunday for Ashlen Martin’s toy drive for foster children at Christmas.

The toy collection was held at Jon Six Hair Company, 1509 Grand Central Ave., Suite 2 in Vienna. Santa Claus attended the event and food was provided by local businesses and individuals.

Martin, 13, is an eighth-grade student at Jackson Middle School in Vienna. This is her sixth year hosting a toy drive for the foster care children in Wood County.

She typically hosts a birthday “dance” party around her birthday on Nov. 15, inviting everyone she knows, said her mother, Melissa Wise. Her friends, family, teachers and coaches all donate gifts toward Martin’s toy drive.

This year with Martin turning 14 years old, throwing another dance party seemed outdated, her mother said.

“She wanted to try a different approach to the toy drive. She wanted to ask the community to donate,” Wise said.

Martin and Wise said they were overwhelmed with the community response and generosity at Sunday’s event. They appreciate Jon Six’s help in providing an “unbelievable” event.

Martin has been asked to speak at the Parkersburg Kiwanis Club meeting on Nov. 25 at 6:30 p.m. about her toy drive and how she got started.

Martin will be at Piggly Wiggly in Vienna on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the last day she will be collecting for the toy drive.

In connection with Sunday’s event at the Vienna salon, people donated 100 dog blankets for dogs at the Humane Society of Parkersburg shelter in a drive created by Six.

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