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Penticton  

Gift drive wraps up

Colton Davies

UPDATE: 7:00 p.m.

A "steady stream" of members of the public came by the Penticton Canadian Tire on Friday afternoon to put a bow on the 24th Toys for Tots to Teens Christmas gift drive.

The amount of gifts delivered between 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. were enough to fill seven extra-large bins, to be distributed to children and youth in the South Okanagan.

Spark Media owner Kelly Hopkins, the event organizer for the toy drive, said more than 1,500 gifts were donated at the two drop-off events on Friday.

Among the donations, the Penticton Fire Department delivered more than $1,000 worth of Christmas gifts while the Murray Buick GMC dealership donated $2,500 to groups who requested gifts for children. 

On top of hosting the afternoon toy drop-off, Canadian Tire donated $8,000 to buy presents as well.

"I think it's important to talk about how much the community came together for this, and how much appreciation we have for people who stepped up and came out and supported it," Hopkins said.

She added that anyone who still wishes to donate a gift can go by Canadian Tire anytime and drop off unwrapped gifts to be distributed.


ORIGINAL: 11:00 a.m.

Christmas came early in Penticton this morning.

The first half of the annual Toys for Tots to Teens toy drive took place at Cascades Casino.

Staff said more than 500 people stopped by to donate gifts which will be given to children and youth in the South Okanagan.

Many stuck around to make ginger bread houses and have a complimentary breakfast.

Local businesses also filled stockings full of donated items to bring to the event.

"We've seen this holiday season start off on the right note," Cascades Casino general manager Michael Magnusson said.

Magnusson said more than 1,000 requests from non-profit and government organizations have already been made for children to receive a gift from what is donated at the toy drive. 

That number is expected to reach about 1,500 in the South Okanagan.

He said with what has been and what will still be donated through the toy drive, those requests will be met in the region.

"To know that no child is going to wake up Christmas morning and not receive a present, that makes us feel really good... It's about giving."

A second toy drive drop-off will take place on Friday afternoon at Canadian Tire, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., with refreshments available on site from IGA and Tim Hortons.



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