A record-setting morning

Community responds superbly — more than 1,700 toys collected

Santa is flanked by Tigh-Na-Mara general manager Paul Drummond

Santa is flanked by Tigh-Na-Mara general manager Paul Drummond

It was a record-breaking day for the Toy Drive Breakfast at Tigh-Na-Mara Resort and plans are already in the works for the next one.

There were 1,736 toys collected for the SOS during the breakfast on Wednesday morning and more than 1,400 people sat down to dine on a full breakfast after making their toy donation, said Tigh-Na-Mara general manager Paul Drummond.

“It was really smooth and worked out really well,” said Drummond. “We are already making plans for our fifth annual (next year).”

Drummond said he was especially impressed with the public’s attention to the call for toys or gifts that were tween and teen appropriate.

“We really appreciate the community looking at that and supporting it,” said Drummond. “There’s a huge need for it.”

Despite the huge numbers coming through the door, staff from Tigh-Na-Mara and other organizations like the SOS and The NEWS helped the event move along efficiently, said Drummond.

“It’s definitely a team thing,” said Drummond.

Renate Sutherland, the executive director of SOS, said it wa “an absolutely fabulaou morning.”

“Our gratitude goes to Tigh-Na-Mara for hosting again this year and making it so easy for people to give,” said Sutherland. “It is, for me, the true meaning of community — neighbours helping neighbours in the truest sense of the word.”

SOS staff and volunteers are now busy unloading and organizing the Toy Shop. Families who are in need should go to SOS (245 W Hirst St.) and register between 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Adults are asked to bring photo identification for themselves and B.C. Health Care Cards for their children. Families will then be given a date to come to the Toy Shop and they may also be given gift cards for local food stores so they can create their own seasonal, family traditions, said Sutherland.

“It’s really about preserving dignity,” she said.

In addition to the toys at Tigh-Na-Mara on Wednesday, people also donated food for the food bank and change for the Pennies for Presents campaign, which also benefits SOS. The MOHO RV was set up in the Tigh-Na-Mara parking lot, where Big Boy’s Toys General Manager Larry Polnick and some Tigh-Na-Mara staff collected food to fill the RV and NEWS Publisher Peter McCully was on hand to collect pennies.

“Tigh-Na-Mara is a superb community suporter and we’re proud to partner with them for this great event,” said McCully, who also said the Pennies for Presents campaign continues — bring you pennies to The NEWS — and a total will be announced later in December.