Big Update on Christmas

Thank YOU! Thank you so very much.

You helped Early To Rise raise a record $164,000 for the Denver Toys for Tots Marines charity toy drive. With this money, over 120 ETR team members, friends, and family visited three Wal-Mart stores and purchased over 10,215 toys. It was an incredible day.

Why Toys for Tots? Because you could be Santa and save Christmas for kids that would otherwise have went without a toy. Your support made for a magical Christmas morning for thousands of kids. Let a smile spread across your face right now knowing that some child, somewhere in Colorado, is playing with the toy that you helped Santa deliver.


Why Denver? That is where ETR HQ is located. Why Wal-Mart? We simply get the most toys for our bucks at Wal-Mart. And it’s all about helping as many kids as we can.

This was our 5th year doing Toys for Tots. It started with Matt Smith and his children in 2011. Matt had read about the toy drive in the Denver paper, and heard that it was falling far short of its goal. He picked up his son and daughter from school one day and took them to Wal-Mart. There they met two Marines and the Smiths filled up dozens of shopping carts with toys to donate to the cause. It was a wonderful experience for his kids, and he knew that he had to do it again, but in a bigger way.

In 2012, Matt invited our ETR team to join him, along with many more of his friends and business colleagues. We combined it with the ETR Christmas party and through everyone’s donations we were able to buy $60,000 worth of toys.

Each year more and more of our friends join in, flying all the way from Portugal (Rob & Laura Hanly), England (Barry Dunlop), Finland (Ben Yu from, and even from Canadia.smiley Our friends send in all levels of donations, ranging from $1000 to $25,000 (thanks BioTrust and!). Bedros Keuilian and his team even organized their own shopping spree in Chino Hills, California!

Fit Body Boot Camp & Their $20,000 Truck of Toys

And so because of you there will be over 10,000 little munchkins with a smile on their faces on Christmas. That might be the best Christmas present you get this year.

If you donate your time to a charity, you know how wonderful it feels to lend a helping hand. You can’t put a price tag on it. And yes, I know, the purpose of charity is not to gain recognition or to do good deeds for our own happiness, but the truth is that we need to remind others to seek out opportunities to help. We can all give a little more back to the world, right? And if you can, why wouldn’t you? T’is the season, after all.

Next year the party will be even bigger and better. After all, you and I want to stay on Santa’s “Nice” list. The dates are set: December 1-2nd, 2017. Everyone is promising to return (and many people that missed out are eager to get involved). Until then, Matt Smith and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support. Your help means more to us than you can ever imagine.


Craig The Godfather of Toys Ballantyne

 PS – Hang around others that make you Play UP a Level.

Hire a coach, get a mentor, associate with better people, mastermind with like-minded achievers, and learn from highly successful people what makes them tick. Do not be afraid to ask for help