One of the fundamental elements of HYPE's mission is community involvement, and we are so grateful for the support of all of our members. Tons of Toys once again exceeded expectations, and all efforts combined resulted in a total collection of over 1,600 toys!
The 11th annual holiday celebration at Marquee Events & Catering featuring the Gershon Fox Ballroom on Wednesday, December 7th was attended by over 300 young professionals. For an entry fee of one new unwrapped toy or $20, guests enjoyed delicious hors d'ouevres provided by Marquee Events, and an incredible cake by A Little Imagination Cakes, while dancing the night away to music by Mile Elliot and enjoying photo booth fun by SnapSeat. Many attendees brought more than one toy, truly getting into the holiday giving spirit. We are so grateful to ConnectiCare for their presenting sponsorship that made this event possible. We appreciate your continued support of Tons of Toys!
Despite his busy schedule, Santa made an appearance, taking photos from 4:30-5:30pm with the children, nieces and nephews, or friends of HYPEsters who just couldn’t wait to the man himself. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, the beneficiary of Ton of Toys, brought some of their club kids to write letters to Santa, snap a photo with him, and then enjoy Santa’s favorite snack, milk and cookies.
Before the event, donations from generous sponsors were collected to fund a toy shopping spree at Target’s South Windsor location on Sunday, December 4th. Volunteers filled up many carts with sports equipment, action figures, craft kids, dolls, and much more on behalf of our $500 Candy Cane Sponsors BL Companies, Cantor Colburn, Comcast, Hoffman Auto Group, KBE Building Corporation, May, Bonee & Walsh, Mohegan Sun, and United Bank, and our $1,000 Mistletoe Sponsor Webster Bank. We also had amazing support once again from LEGO, as well as internal toy drives at both Ernst & Young and ZAG Interactive.
For the third 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! Some of the items include new video gaming systems, bean bag chairs for a teen room, and skateboards.Thanks to the support of sponsors, we were also able to support 45 youth from the Chrysalis Center Family Matters program!
The toys were delivered on Thursday, December 8th to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford Asylum Hill location where staff from 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 event, to the drop of the next day, the donation of the truck and staff manpower are so incredibly helpful. We cannot thank them enough for their support!
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford operates 8 sites throughout Hartford, including the Connecticut Juvenille Training School in Middletown, CT. They serve more than 7,000 youth members, ages 5-18, and preschool aged members attending their Early Learning Childhood Center located at the Asylum Hill Clubhouse, with many families living at or below the poverty line. HYPE is grateful to be able to help them in their mission to “set each and every child on the path to a GREAT future”.
HYPE's leadership 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.