Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Community's help needed on 'Tots'

Staff Writer | December 2, 2022 1:00 AM

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a beloved tradition — millions either watch it on television or travel to New York City to watch the massive balloons make their way around the city.

The parade got its start in the 1920s, according to Wikipedia, when Macy’s store employees wanted to celebrate both Thanksgiving and their new country with the type of festival found in Europe. The employees marched to Macy’s flagship story on 34th Street, dressed in brilliant costumes. Joining them were floats and bands — even animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. At the end of that first parade in 1924, Santa Claus was welcomed into Herald Square.

A few years later, large animal-shaped balloons, produced by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio, replaced the live animals. The first ever character balloon was Felix the Cat in 1927, according to Wikipedia.

By 1930, more than a million people lined the parade route as the parade continued to grow. By 1934, the first Mickey Mouse balloon entered the parade and the festivities made their debut on radio stations in New York City in 1932 and on television in 1948.

It’s a tradition that both charms and entertains, filled with the holiday spirit and for many is the true kickoff of the holiday season.

But in the greater Sandpoint area, that honor belongs to the Sandpoint Lions’ annual Toys for Tots drive — which brings Christmas to more than 900 children who live in the Lake Pend Oreille School District.

There were no new donations today and the total amount of donations to date is $1,700.

Each year, Lions members, local businesses, and the community partner to raise funds as part of the annual Toys for Tots drive.

The club is accepting Toys for Tots applications until Dec. 17. Applications are available on our website and printed copies are available on the door of the Lions Club, 609 S. Ella

The goal for this year’s Toys for Tots campaign is $50,000 — the same as it has been in past years. The Lions make the most of the money by bargain shopping, and with the assistance of generous local businesses.

"We're seeing a need more than ever for Toys for Tots," Rader said. "We'll be shopping harder and smarter than ever to make sure everyone in the community has a very special Christmas."

If you know someone, or need help yourself, the Lions are taking applications for the Toys for Tots program. Applications are available at Bonner Community Food Bank and on the door of the Lions Den.

Donations for Toys for Tots can be dropped off at the front desk at the Bonner County Daily Bee, 310 Church St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also drop off donations at Columbia Bank’s Sandpoint branch, 414 Church St., or at the Ponderay branch, 300 Bonner Mall Way; the Ponderay Starbucks, and the Ponderay Mountain West Bank.

Donations may be mailed to the Sandpoint Lions Club, Box 414, Sandpoint, ID 83864.

Donations made by check are preferred. Be sure to include a note with your check indicating that it is a Toys for Tots donation. If you wish to make an anonymous donation, please include a note.

If the donation is being made in someone’s name, be sure to also include a note.

Information: Sandpoint Lions Club, 208-263-4118

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