By Joshua Maloni
Jamie Symmonds’ recent Holiday Market at the Brickyard Brewing Company was a success, with scores of people attending and myriad vendors showcasing their wares for guests.
“It was another amazing event, which would not have been made possible without the amazing owners of the BBC, all their staff, my volunteers, and all the vendors,” she said.
Most importantly, “We were able to raise $2,651 for Toys for Tots due to the generosity of so many throughout the community,” Symmonds said.
Per its local website, “The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.”
In Western New York, that area includes Erie, Niagara and Wyoming counties.
Buffalo Toys for Tots coordinator Staff Sgt. Jo Ann Ortiz said, “We help out kids in need and families in need.”
She explained, “I know last year we collected probably about 110,000 toys and we helped a little over 9,000 kids,” ages infant up to 18.
With the holiday season here, “As of right now, I think we’ve purchased around $50,000 worth of toys already, on top of whatever’s already been donated, and then, of course, the cash donations just help us to make more purchases,” Ortiz said.
For more information, or to get involved, visit https://buffalo-ny.toysfortots.org.
Symmonds also donated $2,500-plus to Toys for Tots following her 2018 holiday event.
“I choose Toys for Tots each year because I feel each child should be able to wake up with presents under the tree, and deserves a happy Christmas,” she said. “The idea of it being any other way brings a tear to my eye. Every child deserves to have that magical feeling, even if it is for that one day – which is why I do my part each year to raise the money for Toys for Tots. I like to think, because of all of our hard work, dozens of children will have their magical Christmas.”