Nutley's Chieffo Family just announced the date for their annual Holiday Toy Drive, let's take a look back at the 2018 event first:
NUTLEY, NJ - For about 20 years, the Chieffo family hosted holiday party toy drive parties to benefit children battling cancer and others in need. The 2018 event hosted at their home on Gerard Rd. turned out to be the largest holiday toy effort in the township.
The party was an outdoor event, with hot chocolate, cookies, a popcorn machine and all manner of holiday treats. Mike and Michelle Chieffo's home serves as home base for the party. Officers from the Nutley Police Department closed off Gerard Rd. allowing the party to spill into the street. The neighbors also got into the celebration by having their Christmas lights and outdoor inflatable decorations on from dusk through the entire night
Mike Chieffo explained that the event really brings the community together. While there, families, someone known to the Cheiffos and others who heard about the event, arrived with new toys in hand. The event started in Belleville years ago, and came to Nutley about five years ago. Mike, who lost his father to leukemia when he was 12, hosts the event as a personal tribute to his dad. The beneficiaries of the party include Clara Maas Pediatrics, a Women's Shelter and NY Presbyterian Pediatric Cancer Center.
As guests arrived, music filled the air with classic and modern Christmas music. Mike is the owner of Nutley's DJ MC Entertainment. so the sound system was perfectly suited to an outdoor event. When music wasn't playing, Gerry Pearce took the microphone to perform live holiday classics in the style of Frank and Dean. When not singing, Pearce is the bakery manager at Stop and Shop on Allwood Rd.
Neighbors allowed the Chieffos to park rented box trucks in their driveways to collect the toys. Anthony Cimolo, owner of Vanity Salon on Midland Ave in Montclair, collected more than 250 new toys at the salon. Cimolo shared how he grew up with Mike and loves the event.
In between visits by elected leaders and local celebrities, a train gave party guests rides wup and down and all around the street. Children and adults alike loved the train rides.
By the end of the evening, more than 1500 new toys were collected, making this Nutley's largest toy drive.
Mike and Michelle Chieffo told TAPinto Nutley that the annual party will continue for many years to come.
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