‘Pumpkin Spice & Semper Fi’: Woodway girl selling cupcakes to help Marines buy Christmas toys for less fortunate kids

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 5:44 PM CDT
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WOODWAY, Texas (KWTX) - A young Central Texas girl who raised more than $1,000 at a cupcake stand in her front yard last fall is hoping for a successful round two as she hosts “Pumpkin Spice & Semper Fi” this weekend to benefit Toys for Tots, a program in which the Marines have been delivering toys to those less fortunate for Christmas since 1947.

Riley West, 6, of Woodway, is spending this week baking as she prepares for the sale on Saturday, which brought out dozens of friends, family, and even strangers.

“I’m still psyched to do a cupcake stand this year,” Riley beamed when talking about it. “I hope y’all can come over!”

The fundraiser is personal for the first grader and her family, who all help with the sale.

Riley’s grandfather James Wolfe , whom she calls “Poppa,” is a retired Marine who has helped with Toys for Tots for decades.

“Toys for Tots has been a priority for me,” Wolfe said. “I remained with the program since I retired in 1997. I was with the Reserves on countless occasions to come out and work this program every year. I please ask that you support the program that is the only one of its kind and it is for a very worthwhile cause that I have seen time and time again with my own eyes.”

Riley’s mom, Meagan, says Toys for Tots has always been a part of her family and helping her...
Riley’s mom, Meagan, says Toys for Tots has always been a part of her family and helping her daughter carry on the tradition has been special, especially, as many families fell on hard times.(Courtesy Photo)

Riley’s mom, Meagan, says Toys for Tots has always been a part of her family and helping her daughter carry on the tradition has been special, especially, as many families fell on hard times.

“It’s just a ministry that is very special to our family,” Meagan said. “Donating what we can has been a family tradition but last year and seeing how COVID really put a strain on so many people financially we had a prompting to try and do more.”

The response from the community was amazing. In just a few hours, the little girl had raised $1000.56.

“People would come and give us $20 for a cup of coffee we sold for 50 cents,” Meagan said. “it was an unbelievable experience.”

The Marine Corps was so touched by Riley’s act that two uniformed Marine’s showed up and stood...
The Marine Corps was so touched by Riley’s act that two uniformed Marine’s showed up and stood watch behind the little girl for the entire day-long sale.(Courtesy Photo)

The Marine Corps was so touched by Riley’s act that two uniformed Marine’s showed up and stood watch behind the little girl for the entire day-long sale.

Meagan says they plan to return this year.

The cupcakes available include the family’s favorite pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting as well as chocolate and vanilla cupcakes.

They’re priced at $2 a piece, $6 for four cupcakes or a half dozen for $8.

Riley selling cupcakes outside her home
Riley selling cupcakes outside her home(Courtesy Photo)

The stand will also sell homemade pup treats for $2, fresh popped Kettle corn for $3 a bag or a fall blend cup of coffee of hot chocolate for $1.

Riley will also accept a new unwrapped toy in exchange for six cupcakes.

All active duty, retired military and first responders will be given a free cupcake while supplies last.

They fundraiser will be Saturday, October 22, at 401 Cranbrook Drive in Woodway starting at 10 a.m.

Riley with Marines
Riley with Marines(Courtesy Photo)

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