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3 Mahoning Valley shops offer tattoos to toy donors

Published: Sat, November 26, 2011 @ 12:01 a.m.

By christine keeling


Tattoo shops are giving to help

children get a present this holiday.

Artistic Dermagraphics in Youngstown and Spider’s Tattoo and Bareknuckle Tattoo in Austintown are offering $20 gift certificates to anyone who donates a new unwrapped toy with a value of $10 at any of the shops through Dec. 17.

The items collected during the Toys-4-Tats campaign will be donated to the U.S. Marine Corps for its Toys for Tots Foundation.

“It’s our way of giving back,” said Gary “Spider” Steyer, owner of Spiders Tattoo. “And help make a child smile.”

The Toys for Tots Foundation is in its 64th year. Its goal is to give less fortunate children a message of hope, through the delivery of a toy, and create a positive memory.

Last year, the program distributed more than 16.7 million toys to nearly

7.2 million children in more than 700 communities nationwide.

“I think its been quite successful,” said Emiliano DeLeon Jr., chief warrant officer 4 of Toys for Tots. “But, its been

getting a little more difficult because of the economy.”

He said more people are not working and more children need gifts.

Steyer said he got motivated to take action after he learned that Youngstown leads the nation in poverty.

The other owners were eager to help.

“This is something different,” said Joe Davila, owner of Bareknuckle Tattoo. “It’s really about helping kids.”

The gift certificates give people who want a tattoo an incentive to help others, but people don’t have to want a tattoo to donate, said Steyer. Tattoos start at $50.

Steyer has filled his toy bin twice in two weeks.

There are more than 190 drop-off locations in

Mahoning and Trumbull counties, DeLeon said,

adding businesses and

organizations that host events or offer incentives help the nonprofit group.

The foundation and the National Football League kicked off the annual Touchdown for Tots campaign. Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers fans can take a toy to each stadium during the teams’ home games Dec. 4 against the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively.

DeLeon said people can be assured toys donated at any Toys for Tot location will get to the right people.

“We are the Marines, and we are the face of Toys for Tots,” he said.

For a list of drop-off locations, visit vienna-oh.toysfortots.org.


1MLC75(604 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Why all of the hate,they are helping children,who would not be getting anything for Christmas.The community should be thankful,not hateful.

The valley is full of negative,hateful people.The tattoo shops are not hurting you,if you don't like tattoo's don't get one.I don't have any tattoo's,but people have a right to what ever they want.

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2Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

To MLC75
Boy do you have that right but Remember

“Never argue with a stupid person for they will only bring
you down to their level and then beat you with experience

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3Peopleinohiosuck(1 comment)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

How sad that you people take a great idea and choose to be negative about it. What they're doing for kids is wonderful. Whether you like tattoos or not is irrelevant to this story. The fact that they are giving back to your community is the reason for the article. So glad I moved away from that place, I forgot how pathetic and mean spirited it makes some people. Just a reminder to all you haters, there is a world beyond Ohio, you should check it out sometime, you might find that negativity and close mindedness leave your body and discover something called happiness. Kudos to all you tattoo artists doing something to make a difference for a child!

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4southsidedave(5007 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I personally do not approve of tattoos; but different strokes for different folks. It is definitely a generational thing.

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5janedoe1(3 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

In response to the first three individuals who commented: 1) Just wondering how generous YOUR contributions to Toys For Tots were this year...2) You should choose a personal tattoo that reflects your character. That being said, I have an excellent suggestion for you....

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6DOLE2(594 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

OK, here's a Barbie now make me look like Mike Tyson.

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7ScrappyDriver(1 comment)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I personally have no tattoos, and am not interested in obtaining one. Having said that, I think it's great that these ARTISTS are willing to give of themselves to help a child in need.

One of these tattoo artists is my son, and not only am I proud of him for giving back, but I am constantly amazed at the talent he has to create beautiful art. He is a true ARTIST whose chosen medium happens to be tattooing the human body.

No one is trying to force anyone to get a tattoo, but these are great people who are performing a legal service to those customers who do want a tattoo and in doing so, will bring a smile to a child's face on Christmas morning. May God bless all of them!!!

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8STilghman53(1 comment)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I think that what these guys are doing shows the real spirit of the holiday. Whether or not you like tattoos doesn't matter. They are doing something wonderful for the children of the Mahoning Valley!! There are some great artists here and I applaud their dedication to their community!

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9themightyquinn(6 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Well said DAL. I congratulate the artists for thinking of others in this season of giving. Good for them and good for the kids who will get the opportunity to experience the magic of Christmas because of good hearted folks like these.

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10yellowjacket1978(1 comment)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I think that what these artists are trying to do deserves the support of their community, not the ignorance of it. I am appalled to think that there are people who believe the stereotypes that someone who gets a tattoo, or the artist that creates it is either stoned or drunk. I have a tattoo by one of these artists, and I am a mother, wife, and a 3rd year college student with a cumulative GPA of 3.78. I have never touched a drug IN MY LIFE, and I know that the artists working at these shops are good people that are trying to look out for their community. People are going to get tattoos anyways, so why not let those who are getting their tattoos help their community while they are doing it! To the artists, you are amazing people, and I am so proud that you have come together to help a community that has been hurt more than most by this recession. Thank you for all that you do for the community. While there are ignorant people in this world, they are not the majority. Most will be proud of you, the same as I am.

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11whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

@ janedoe

in response to your comment, how is looking stoned negative ?, They look happy.

Take a rock and throw it at your own glass house.

good cause,

hard to trust these days. Kinda like the Bikers do to get the heat off their club, to look better in the eyes of the people.

Not all, but some smile and show you how good they are, when the door closes. they try to figure better ways to make money.

But hell, all hats off to them people, as for me I would give books and dvd's on how to plant a garden, and teach self-reliance. Not reliance on big - brother for survival.

Merry Christmas....

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