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Weekend Toy Drive Leads Police to Fill Over Two Dozen Crusiers

Despite inclement weather keeping many indoors, residents still opened their hearts and wallets en route to one of the most successful toy drives to date.

Southington PD "Fill a Cruiser" event at Walmart Southington. (Credit: Southington Police Department)
Southington PD "Fill a Cruiser" event at Walmart Southington. (Credit: Southington Police Department)
The weather outside on Saturday was frightful – cold, windy and dreary with snow falling most of the day – but that didn't stop residents from partnering with police to assure this holiday will be a delightful one for those in need.

Despite the weather curbing some of the pre-holiday shopping, it did not hinder donations said Officer Thomas Gallo. Instead, people opened their hearts and wallets to provide enough donations to fill nearly 20 cruisers with gifts less than two weeks before the Christmas holiday.

“Because of the generosity of the Customers of Walmart, we collected approximately 25 cruisers full of toys and other gifts which will be distributed to needy families this holiday season,” Gallo said. “A big thank you goes to all the officers, explorers and their families that came out to help.”

The annual collection has grown in recent years, continuing to set new records for one time collections. Police said when the program first started about five years ago, officers were shocked to see the community fill over a dozen cruisers.

They knew it would be hard to keep up with that in future years, officers said during the Saturday event, but the community has embraced the effort and helped make sure everyone in town is able to have a happy, healthy holiday.

Saturday’s success isn’t the only happy tale coming from Walmart Plaza last week either. On Monday, Dec. 9, bell ringers representing the Salvation Army helped gather more than $40,000 to support Southington Community Service efforts.

For more on the efforts, click the link provided or read more from Patch Blogger E. Richard Fortunato on his blog “Southington Heartbeat.”

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