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  2009 Food and Toy Drive Off to a Fantastic Start

Nov 13, 2009 12:55 ET

Santa got a jump on the Christmas season when he visited St. Bernard Catholic School to officially launch the 2009 Durham Regional Police Service Food & Toy Drive.

Every year, volunteer police officers and civilians donate their time to collect toys, money and food to assist needy families in Durham Region. Last year's version of the annual campaign was the biggest and best ever, distributing food and toys to hundreds of needy families by way of 80 local organizations.

This year, our 21st, we want to raise even more and we got off to a great start. The students from St. Bernard Catholic School filled the sleigh with 456 toys for the drive and Foresters Branch Motor City presented Chief Mike Ewles and Cst. Paul Hawrychuk with a cheque for $1,000 at the launch.

MC Ken Shaw from CTV News hosted the event, while Luke Stitchhaller, our Chief for a Day winner, reminded everyone of the importance of the drive. Cst. Scott Dargie from the DRP police band ‘The Heat’, the DRP choir and St. Bernard’s own choir were all on hand to get the crowd in the Christmas spirit.

If you would like to help out, please bring unwrapped toys or food to any police station in Durham Region, any fire hall in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax or Clarington and to participating stores prior to Dec. 23rd. A sleigh will be set up in the lobby of Durham Regional Headquarters, at Rossland Road and Garden Street in Whitby, starting Monday, November 16 to accept donations.

Our volunteers will collect the goods using vans donated by seven local dealerships: Fraser Ford Sales Ltd.; Ontario Motor Sales; Mills Pontiac Buick; Gus Brown Pontiac Buick; Marigold Ford Lincoln; Durham Kia Motors and Menzies Chrysler.

Below are attached files.
santa thumb (JPG file, 53.4K bytes)
Ken Vickery from Foresters presents Cst. Hawrychuck and Chief Ewles with a cheque (JPG file, 356.0K bytes)
An amazing amount of toys to start the season (JPG file, 432.2K bytes)
Santa's extra helpers (JPG file, 429.4K bytes)
Chief Luke and Cst. Hawrychuk load up the vans with help from St. Bernard elves (JPG file, 381.2K bytes)
St. Bernard students fill the sleigh (JPG file, 355.8K bytes)
Santa hands out candy canes  (JPG file, 357.5K bytes)
Members of the school choir sing 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' (JPG file, 360.8K bytes)