10th Annual Carousel Toy Drive Brings Christmas Cheer to Boca Raton
The 10th Annual Carousel Toy Drive took place on December 4th at Sugar Sand Park. Each year all the Rotary Clubs of Boca Raton join forces to host a toy drive to collect toys for the children of Boca Helping Hands and Wayne Barton Study Center. As the event has grown over the year, so has the community support.
The Toy Drive started in 2006, with the idea of Douglas Heizer and David Wilson. They Rotary Clubs of Boca Raton helped build the Carousel at Sugar Sand Park. As a Thank-You, the park gave the Rotary Clubs one day to use the carousel however they wanted. As Rotarians tend to do, they found a need in the community and went to solve it.
“It was a need I saw in our community that was being neglected and I knew we had to make a difference somehow. I never expected this Toy Drive to get so big but I am excited and happy to see the community joining together for such an important cause,” says co-founder Douglas Heizer.
San Bernardo Ice Cream donated ice cream to the event, which was the first time the Toy Drive had such treats for the families.
A family owned and operated ice cream manufacturer known for unique flavors such as Cactus Pearfection and Biscotti, as well clever twists on old favorites such as Tiramisu and Mango, San Bernardo Ice Cream is offered on majority of cruise ships around the world – as it has for almost 20 years.
Santa Claus’ tradition firetruck entrance was also changed for the 10th year with Fury Road Riding Club escorting the jolly old man on a motorcycle. Joining forces with them was great for both the Toy Drive and Fury Road. Dre Sloan, the CEO of Fury Road stated that “It was both a pleasure and a joy to be represented alongside [this] wonderful organization. It is clearly apparent that we both share a similar vision and set of values centered on investing in the community and impacting lives. “
The Toy Drive is more than just a one-day event. We start collecting toys about a month beforehand. Thanks to the help of our local business. We had a record of 14 different offices around the City that were collecting toys.
In total, the Toy Drive was able to raise about 530 toys and around $500 in donations! This is wonderful for our community and next year the goal is to raise even more than ever before.