With the awesome support of local businesses, bands and of course everyone that showed up to help rock the cause, the 2nd Annual Toystock was again successful this past Sunday. Greg Simpson and his crew from Maxx Entertainment were on hand at the Canadian Nightclub to greet a steady flow of not only adults, but entire families as 10 local bands took the stage for 10 consecutive hours in support of Christmas Cheer.
Both Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as the Stuff-a-Bus were on hand as a very considerable amount of new and gently enjoyed toys were donated. Support didn’t end with toys, over $1,100 was also donated at the door!
After hearing that the Christmas Cheer depot had a significant shortfall this year, spirits were all but dampened as the Community continued to rally together. Greg from GT Waste Systems stepped up to match the $1,100 raised at the event bringing the total to $2,200. Then before anyone could bat an eye, Scotia Bank stepped up to again match the proceeds bringing the grand total up to an amazing $4,400!!! Awesome job Maxx Entertainment!
With not one but two successful years for Toystock, we here at Sault Online thought it would be a perfect opportunity to establish a Sault Social group for this annual event. We gathered up some photos from last years’ Toystock 2012 as well as a few captured this year at Toystock 2013 and created Group photo albums. This is a public group and we invite anyone who has photos they would like to share from either event to upload them for everyone to enjoy. Let’s help keep the spirit and memories alive as this is yet another example of just how Naturally Gifted our Community really is.
As reported in a Sault Star Article “Cash Tight for Christmas Cheer” back on Nov. 14, 2013, the standalone volunteer group distributed 1,806 baskets of food and gifts from Bruce Mines to Batchawana in 2012. That was up 9% from 1,650 a year before. Another year of anticipated strong demand from Sault Ste. Marie and area families in need is expected to tax Christmas Cheer’s bare bones budget. As of Nov. 4th, over 400 requests for baskets had already been received.
Last year I made it a point to visit the Christmas Cheer depot located at the former Sir James Dunn high school location to see first hand just how much effort went into making sure families in need had a great Christmas. They guided me on a tour from the start to finish of the entire facility and I was almost speachless at the amount of work volunteers were expending, not to mention the support they received from the Community. You can read the story I wrote after the tour here as well as visit the Sault Social Christmas Cheer Group to view the photos from my tour.
About 200 volunteers help Christmas Cheer. An estimated 75 to 100 are on site daily.
If you missed a chance to support Christmas Cheer at Toystock, it’s still not too late:
Christmas Cheer Headquarters
Public donations are accepted at Christmas Cheer headquarters located in the former Sir James Dunn secondary site – Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm and Dec. 7 from 10:30 am to 1 pm. Families who need help can call 705-575-9660 Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. The deadline is Dec. 10th and baskets will go out on Dec. 19th.
Sault Star Santa Fund
The Sault Star Santa Fund accepts donations at kiosks at Station Mall and Cambrian Mall starting Dec. 5th. Hours are from Monday to Saturday, 11 am to 8 pm. Anyone interested in volunteering can call Cathy Trottier at 705-759-3030, ext. 214.
Christmas Cheer Donations Accepted at Civic Centre
For the 28th consecutive year, City of Sault Ste. Marie employees have organized a Christmas Cheer depot in support of the annual Christmas Cheer Campaign. Donations of new and like-new toys, new mitts, scarves and hats, and gifts of non-perishable food items can be dropped off at the Civic Centre, 99 Foster Drive, Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., starting Monday, November 18 until Friday, December 13.
A Christmas Cheer donation jar will also be available in the Civic Centre main lobby. Residents are encouraged to contribute to the annual campaign – your support is appreciated.