Community involvement is a fundamental element of HYPE's mission, and we are so thankful for the support of our members. Once again, our annual Tons of Toys celebration lived up to its name, and all efforts combined resulted in a total collection of over 1,500 toys... and more!
Three hundred young professionals attended the 10th annual holiday celebration at Marquee Events & Catering featuring The Gershon Fox Ballroom on Wednesday, December 9th. They enjoyed delicious hors d'ouevres provided by Marquee Events, an amazing cake by A Little Imagination Cakes, music by DJ Tony Ramos, and a photo booth courtesy of SnapSeat, all for an entry fee of one new unwrapped toy or $20. In the true holiday giving spirit, many attendees brought more than one toy! We're so grateful to ConnectiCare for their presenting sponsorship that made this event possible!
Also attending the event was the man himself, Santa! From 4:30-6:00PM HYPEsters were invited to bring their children, nieces and nephews, or friends who just couldn’t wait to see Santa for photos, milk and cookies, and a letter writing station. The beneficiary of the toys, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, also brought kids to the event.
Before the event, donations from generous sponsors were collected to fund a shopping spree at Target’s South Windsor location on Sunday, December 6th. Volunteers filled up many carts with action figures, dolls, craft kits, sports equipment, and much more on behalf of our $500 Candy Cane Sponsors BL Companies, Fiduciary Investment Advisors, KBE Building Corporation, May Bonee & Walsh, and Mohegan Sun, and our $1,000 Mistletoe Sponsors Webster Bank, The iQuilt Plan, and United Bank. We also had amazing support once again from LEGO, and an internal toy drive at Ernst & Young.
For the second year in a row we received an additional grant from The Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. With this incredibly generous gift, we were able to augment our toy collection and purchase big ticket wish list items for each of the four Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford club sites! The clubs received the following:
- Asylum Hill- Foosball table and bluetooth karaoke machine
- Northwest- Air hockey table and bluetooth karaoke machine
- Southwest- Foosball Table and Guitar Hero for Xbox One
- Trinity- Air Hockey Table and a WiiU game system
- Early Learning Center- Tricycles and an indoor basketball hoop
Thanks to the support of sponsors, we were also able to support 48 youth from the Chrysalis Center Family Matters program!
The toys were deliv
ered on Thursday, December 10th to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford Asylum Hill location where directors and staff from each of the club sites were waiting to help unload the truck and organize the toys for their youth and families. All toys will be distributed to the kids at the holiday parties later this month. Thank you to Red Thread
for assisting with the transportation of all of the toys, from the shopping spree to the drop off. Their donation of use of the trucks and staff manpower was incredibly helpful, and we cannot thank them enough!
The birthplace of the Boys & Girls Club movement, BGCH engages over 5,000 youth between their four traditional club sites, three school sites, and one juvenile detention center. With the addition of an Early Learning Center in the Asylum Hill Club, BGCH serves youth from ages 3-18, with many families living at or below the poverty line. "Without the assistance of HYPE, Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford would not be able to provide each of our members ages 3-18 with a toy for the holiday. Thank you for participating in the lives of the children of Hartford and your continued support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford," says Director of Operations Shawonda Swain.
HYPE's leadership, members, and staff are so thankful for your continued support, and grateful for your help in celebrating the true meaning of the holiday season.
Special thanks to Allegra Anderson Photography for the event images featured in this blog post! Additional thanks to the MetroHartford Alliance staff for the toy delivery photos.