Tonawanda News — ”We know there’s a lot of needy families out there,” he said. “Growing up as a child, my happiest memory was always Christmas morning. A lot of children are growing up without that memory, and it’s just a shame.”
To sweeten the deal a little, customers who drop their donations off at Submasters will receive a free piece of pizza, Daniels said.
”It doesn’t have to be a big present,” he said. “There are kids of all ages. Even something small will help.”
The campaign is also in need of monetary donations, which can go toward gift cards for older children, who tend to ask for things like music, headphones, etc., White said. “We don’t supply those, so we get the gift cards. Every year, we buy more cards.”
He also asked that people consider donating toys geared toward older boys and girls, as well as those for smaller children. “Everybody drops off the trucks and the Barbie dolls ... but you’re missing that little group between 12 and 16.”
Last year’s Rockin’ With Santa took a sudden turn when the venerable Elks Lodge 860, where it had been held for years, was gutted by fire the morning of the event. About 50 to 60 gifts were lost, but the event went on at the American Legion Post 264.
White vividly remembers that early-morning telephone call last year, when he realized the event was in jeopardy ... and how it felt when people stepped up and it was saved.
”Now what we’re trying to do is say, ‘We’re back and so are the Elks,’ “ he said. “This is their first big community event since the fire. We’re trying to promote it as that, too.”
In the Town of Tonawanda, the Youth, Parks & Recreation Department this week placed its 2012 Christmas toy collection barrels at sites throughout the area. The department is collecting new, unwrapped toys through Dec. 10