CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY – After a tough year for families due to the pandemic, Toys for Tots and the Chautauqua County Resource Center are getting to work early this year collecting toys for the Christmas Holiday.
The two groups are hosting two separate “Christmas in July” toy drives this Saturday.
Independent Service Coordinator Patrick Smeraldo is first holding a craft fair at Lucille Ball Park in Celoron from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In addition to collecting toys that will be distributed this winter, there will be a Christmas book signing and a chicken BBQ sale.
Later in the evening, the celebration moves to Diethrick Park for a Christmas themed Tarp Skunks game where toys and cash donations are encouraged.
Smeraldo explains the impact COVID had on the demand for Toys for Tots, and why it is so important.
“Toys for Tots was also increased heavily because of the economic challenges that people faced,” says Smeraldo. “We went from mid two thousand families to mid four thousand families. A lot more people needed help.”
The game starts at 7 p.m. with tickets starting at just $5.