Yearly toy drive gives locals a Christmas to remember
Rockin' With Santa, a yearly toy campaign to help kids in the North Tonawanda and Tonawanda area is back for the 2018 holiday season.
Creator of the campaign John White said last year's turn out was one of the best ever. This year, the campaign will host a party at 6:30 Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Elks Lodge, 55 Main St., which includes music by Michael Hund from 7-9 p.m. and 55 Main from 9 p.m. to midnight; raffles, a 50/50 split, food and a cash bar.
White said the bands, which he called very good draws, elected to play for nothing, and the Elks Lodge donated its hall for the event.
Entry into the party is simple: bring an unwrapped gift for a child age 0-16. The gift will go towards White's goal of making Christmas a better time for local children in need.
The party is back after a three-year absence. White said there was an interest amongst the volunteers to bring the event back.
White added that children will receive three gifts and a stocking stuffer, all of which come from gifts donated by local residents, businesses and more.
Along with the party, the public can drop off presents at Squires Tap Room, T.C. Wheelers, Wurlitzer Pizza, Fast Teddys, Tonawanda City Hall, North Tonawanda City Hall, Tonawanda Fire Headquarters, The Royal Restaurant, the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas, Dollar General, the Elks Lodge and Dockside Bar & Grill.
White also credited the North Tonawanda Honors Society students. He said the group does a nice job, and donates about 150 toys to the campaign. "It's nice when a kid buys for a kid," he said.
Deadline for toy drop-offs is Dec. 7, and toys will be given to families on Sunday, Dec. 9. White said the day the gifts are handed out, he gets goosebumps from the amount of (almost 2,500) toys in one room and the reactions on the families faces.
For more information on this years campaign, contact White at 692-6306.