Thousands raised in SOS toy drive in Parksville

Thousands raised in SOS toy drive in Parksville

Thousands raised for SOS Christmas program

The Parksville Qualicum Beach community stepped up once again and donated more than $10,000 in cash, cheques and gift cards at the annual toy drive Wednesday (Nov. 29).

The ninth annual Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive, benefitting the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program, brought in 1,693 toys and $13,062 in gift cards, cash and cheques. This year’s toy drive surpassed last year’s which saw 1,590 toys donated and $11,200 in gift cards, cash and cheques.

The toy drive helps to stock the Society of Organized Services Toy Shop for the Caring for Community at Christmas program.

“This event here at Tigh-Na-Mara is what almost fully stocks our toy shop,” said SOS executive director Renate Sutherland. “If we didn’t have this, we would be struggling to try and get enough toys to ensure that all of the almost 1,200 children that we support through our Christmas program, that they have something meaningful and exciting to open on Christmas morning.”

Paul Drummond, Tigh-Na-Mara general manager, said the toy drive is the start of the Christmas season for the resort’s staff.

“The team really comes together… but it’s all of our team volunteering their time. You can see they’re festively dressed up and really playing the part,” Drummond said. “I’ve got maintenance guys in the kitchen flipping pancakes. All of the departments have come together. No one cares what anyone else does for their real job, they just want to help out and pitch in where they can.”

Check Tuesday’s paper for an update on the latest total amount raised for the Caring for Community at Christmas program.