St. Michael’s Cemetery gives from the heart

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THE COURIER/Photos by Mike DiBartolomeo
THE COURIER/Photos by Mike DiBartolomeo

Jenna, 3, and Justin, 5,along with dad Jason Broad contributed toys.

Over the past two holiday seasons, St. Michael’s Cemetery has brought happiness to local children through participating in Toys for Tots. This past weekend marked the culmination of their annual toy drive, resulting in the collection of 720 toys for local children in need.

“[People in the community] appreciate and feel sorry for those less fortunate,” said St. Michael’s spokesperson Ed Horn. “We saw an overwhelming response.”

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year. They then distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community.

Two hundred guests gathered in the All Soul’s Chapel at St. Michael’s Cemetery in East Elmhurst on Saturday, December 10 to celebrate the end of the toy drive and the beginning of what will now hopefully be a joyous holiday season for many area children. Guests and St. Michael’s staff welcomed two U.S. Marine Corps Sergeants who came to collect the gifts. Light refreshments were served and Hank Johnson played Christmas songs on a baby grand piano.

Local organizations, including the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition and Variety Boys and Girls Club of Long Island City donated generously to the St. Michael’s toy drive. St. Francis Elementary School donated over 300 toys.

Several families with young children brought gifts for the Marines to show their thanks and brighten their holiday season as well.

“The holidays are not just a one way street,” said Horn.