For the second year in a row, members of the Village of Mamaroneck Fire Department (VMFD)—with Santa in tow—will make a pit stop at the Blythdale Children’s Hospital for an early Christmas delivery and celebration.
But it’s not the first time this year the kids were treated to a holiday bash.
The VMFD—along with the Sound Shore Fire Department, comprised of Harrison, Larchmont and Pelham departments—threw a “Christmas in July” event with a barbeque, fire safety demonstration and gifts galore. The tradition began in 2011, when the VMFD came up with the idea for an early holiday celebration.
In order to gather toys for the event, the VMFD will be holding a drive on Dec. 9 at Molly Spillane’s from 2-5 p.m. where the price of admission will be a new, unwrapped toy for children age 0-17; there will be raffles from local businesses like Molly's, Robert's and the Toy Box refreshments and prizes for the attendees. Proceeds from the raffle will also be utilized to purchase presents, said Felix Hughes Jr., a member of the VMFD. Donations can also be dropped off at the Toy Box and Robert's until Dec. 9.
The VMFD has traditionally dropped off donations a few days after the drive.
This year, the Mamaroneck Chamber of Commerce will pool the donations from their annual toy drive at the Elk’s Lodge with the VMFD, so that additional toys can be distributed locally through the Mamaroneck Community Action Program (CAP).
Although there are some regulars that participate in both holiday events, Hughes said, for some kids it’s a new experience.
“There are kids that do stay there with more serious problems…they [Blythdale] also have a good school program and kids get bussed in for rehab,” said Hughes.
Needless to say, the arrival of Santa is a highly anticipated event.
“They definitely appreciate it—it’s a fun afternoon,” he said.
The Mamaroneck Chamber of Commerce will hold an event on Dec. 6 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at the Mamaroneck Elk's Club. Dinner will be served and donations of new, unwrapped toys are requested. Admission is $20.