Tonawanda News — In addition, the campaign, in its 13th year, will be supported by the annual Rockin’ With Santa musical event, which will take place starting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Twin City Elks Lodge, with the entry fee a gift for a child from infancy through 16 years old. Widow Maker will perform from 7 to 9 p.m., followed by Silver Xtreme from 9 to 11 p.m.
“It’s going to be a nice event, to get those last 1,000 or so toys we need to close the gap because we have even more families this year than last year,” White said. “It seems to be the trend; it’s unfortunate. It’s the way the economy is.”
Last year, Rockin’ With Santa provided gifts for 140 families. This year, it looks like it will be closer to 155 to 160 families, he said. Names are gathered via the YWCA of the Tonawandas, the Head Start program, St. Vincent de Paul outreach program, Girard Place and others. White stresses that organizers are careful to be sure that there’s no duplication of services.
“We’re pretty sure the people who come to our event, it’s the only thing in town for them,” he said. “There are families in need; they don’t mean to be in need, but they are.”
With multiple children per family, and three toys given per child and stocking stuffers, that can come to thousands of toys needed for the campaign, White said. Monetary donations can also be made, and help the campaign fulfill the need for gifts for older children in the 14- to 16-year-old range, who are often overlooked in the donation barrels. White recommends more complicated games or puzzles for those looking to help that need, or the monetary donations that go toward gift cards.
Besides the hundreds who donate to the gift drive, there are dozens of individuals and groups who help out. The North Tonawanda High School Honor Society students pick out “the best toys,” White said and the Exchange Club of the Tonawandas, the Kiwanis Club and the Zonta Club members, who wrap all the gifts, support the campaign.