Susanna Newton, SOS executive director, holds up the cheque given to SOS for the breakfasts sold during the 2021 Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive. Paul Drummond, Tigh-Na-Mara general manager, and Joanne Thompson, director of sales and marketing at Tigh-Na-Mara, stand behind her in the SOS Toy Shop at the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville. This year the Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive collected 1,397 toys, (plus 30 bikes, 25 of them from Tigh-Na-Mara staff), $11,005 in cash and cheques, $3,165 in gift cards and Tigh-Na-Mara donated $2,380 from breakfasts sold, for a grand total of $16,550 to the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program. See story, Page A37. (Peter McCully photo)

Susanna Newton, SOS executive director, holds up the cheque given to SOS for the breakfasts sold during the 2021 Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive. Paul Drummond, Tigh-Na-Mara general manager, and Joanne Thompson, director of sales and marketing at Tigh-Na-Mara, stand behind her in the SOS Toy Shop at the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville. This year the Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive collected 1,397 toys, (plus 30 bikes, 25 of them from Tigh-Na-Mara staff), $11,005 in cash and cheques, $3,165 in gift cards and Tigh-Na-Mara donated $2,380 from breakfasts sold, for a grand total of $16,550 to the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program. See story, Page A37. (Peter McCully photo)

Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive collects 1,397 toys, $16,550 in cash and gift cards

30 bikes also donated to aid SOS Christmas program

By Lissa Alexander

The totals are in it’s official, the modified Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive was remarkably successful.

“Once again, we are blown away by the generosity of this community,” said Susanna Newton, SOS executive director. “This has been a difficult year, and remains a difficult time for many, but so many residents put everything aside and came forward to ensure children, youth, families and individuals in our area experience some joy this Christmas. It warms our hearts and gives us hope for the future.”

This year the Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive collected 1,397 toys, plus 30 bikes, 25 of those which came through Tigh-Na-Mara’s Bikes for Tykes program, funded by staff at the resort. Cash and cheques from the Toy Drive totalled $11,005, gift cards donated came to $3,165, and Tigh-Na-Mara donated $2,380 from breakfasts sold. That is a grand total of $16,550, the highest amount raised to date at the event.

All the donations from the Toy Drive will benefit the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program. Gifts for children and youth will help fill the SOS Toy Shop located at the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville, where low-income parents and grandparents will shop for free. The financial donations will enable SOS to purchase local grocery store gift cards so that families and individuals can choose food that is important to them over the holidays.

READ MORE: PQBeat: Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive aims to create Christmas joy again for 2021

Newton said SOS is extremely grateful to the team at Tigh-Na-Mara for hosting the event again despite the challenges, and for donating 25 bikes through its Bikes for Tykes program.

She said all of these items will make a big difference to the program, which is already seeing high demand.

“We are getting about 40 calls a day right now from people registering for the program, and we anticipate helping over 1,000 households this Christmas. We have reached $42,000 towards our Christmas goal of $200,000 and we are optimistic we will get there with community support,” she said.

For more information on the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program, visit www.sosd69.com.

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