Town Hall, ABC 40 Force collect 2,000 toy donations
AGAWAM – The Town Hall lawn looked less like a municipal building and more like Santa’s workshop on Dec. 17. The town of Agawam and ABC 40’s community service campaign, the 40 Force, teamed up for the second year in a row to collect toys for Toys for Tots.
Mayor Richard Cohen said he chose the charity again because it brings joy to those children who may not have a present to open on Christmas morning. He also said that Toys for Tots does a great job of keeping the toys collected in Agawam, ensuring that residents in need are the ones who benefiting from the town’s efforts.
“I was very pleased and thankful for he wonderful turnout from the community,” Cohen said. “It’s about giving and not always receiving.”
Pam Patrick, a South Hadley resident, came out for the second year because she was inspired by her sister, who was there representing Six Flags.
“It’s a great event,” Patrick said. “It’s always nice to give back to the community and help those less fortunate.”
Patrick was not the only moved by the toy drive. Residents came out in full force to give back. In just an hour and a half, the tables on the lawn were full and the boxes were filled to the top with brand new dolls, puzzles and soccer balls.
Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Trent Vogelhuber and Thomas Larkin of the Springfield Falcons, the Agawam fire and police departments and members of the Young Marines joined Cohen and the 40 Force to help collect the toys and to take pictures.
In a competition among the schools, Robinson Park Elementary School collected the most. Donations from the school included six new bikes.
Last year’s Force 40 drive raised between 2,000 and 3,000 unused and unopened toys, Cohen said. He said that this year they collected an estimated 2,000 toys, as well as $2,000 and $300 in movie tickets from the Clerical Union.
Cohen was happy to match the last year’s number of collected toys, but he said all that matters is helping even one family.
“If one individual who might not otherwise receive a toy gets one, then we have fulfilled the holiday spirit,” Cohen said.
For more information about Toys for Tots, visit their website at www.toysfortots.org