Braintree officials are hoping to collect a record number of toys this year for the Third Annual Braintree Christmas Party, which benefits Toys for Tots.
Bins in Braintree Town Hall are already filling up with toys, and business throughout town with collection bins say customers have been steadily dropping off items.
With a new toy also being a ticket to get into the annual event, town officials are hoping to donate more toys than ever before this time around.
“The first year, the numbers were in the 400-600 toy range, then [we collected] 800 toys last year. We’re trying to get over 1000 this year,” said Charles Kokoros, President of the Town Council.
According to Kokoros, approximately 200-300 people attend the annual event, which was started as a means to bring the community together.
“There was a Christmas party under the old form of government, and every year the selectmen would put it together. To keep that tradition going… [I asked around], seeing if the councilors wanted to do something,” Kokoros said.
The result was an idea to host a community Christmas party. It would invite members of the community, and be for a good cause.
Councilors chose to donate to Toys for Tots, and the rest has been history.
“It shows everyone’s great Christmas spirit and generosity with all the toys that are being donated. But also it’s a great opportunity for Braintree to celebrate Christmas together,” Kokoros said.
The party has grown every year, mostly due to the people who are involved, including State Representative Mark Cusack, members of Mayor Joseph Sullivan’s office, the School Committee, members of Braintree Electric, and the Town Council.
Although politicians coordinate the event, many residents come out to the party, which takes place at The Granite Grille on Granite Street in Braintree.
Granite Grille donates the space and provides the food. A cash bar is also available.
In the past, the event has been a massive success, and according to Kokoros, the organizers at Toys for Tots were extremely pleased to have Braintree participating for another year.
“They know that the town of Braintree is doing everything we can to help the cause. There’s definitely been positive feedback from them,” Kokoros said.
Already, an entire room at The Granite Grille has been set aside to hold the toys. With any luck, it will be full by the end of the night, Kokoros said.
The event will take place on Thursday, Dec. 13 from 6 p.m. till 11 p.m. Admission is a new, unwrapped toy for boys or girls, age appropriate for kids three to 12-years-old.
For more information, contact the Town Clerk’s office at 781-794-8240.