WEST ORANGE, NJ – More than 1000 toys to be donated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital filled the stage as Santa danced in to the Christmas music that was playing at the seventh annual “Night with Santa Toy Drive” event held on Thursday at 4 Sixty 6 in West Orange.
In addition to donating toys, many of the attendees joined with others in the community in supporting the coat drive to provide warmth to people in local shelters.
Hundreds of people came out to this free, family-friendly event, which was hosted by the We Care 4 All Foundation, the West Orange Council of PTA’s and the Beta Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority incorporated, and West Orange Board of Education member Ron Charles and his family.
“This was the biggest Night with Santa event to date,” said Charles. “I want to thank all the groups in the community that partnered with us to make this a joyous event. Along with having a good time, this is a very meaningful event because of all the children who will benefit from the toys and coats.”
Amanda Delgado, chairwoman of Coming Together for Children, was on hand to thank the attendees for helping people in local shelters who will benefit from the coat drive.
Prior to Santa’s appearance, those present enjoyed being entertained by the Marvel Superheroes, local singer Megan Hackett, who appeared on Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” earlier this year, and performances by the West Orange High School Cheerleaders and the West Orange PAL Cheerleaders. Nick Condio served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event.
After everyone had a good time dancing along with Santa, the children were able to visit with him and take photos. They were given small gifts, and even more importantly, a wonderful experience for the holiday season.
“It was very moving to see all the boxes of toys coming in from all parts of the township,” said Charles. “By far, the biggest donors were the families at the Hazel Elementary School, which donated six boxes of toys on their own.
“This is the most toys we’ve ever collected. It’s great to see the community supporting this event more and more every year.”
The venue, food, light refreshments and entertainment were all complimentary thanks to the generosity of this year’s sponsors—including 4 Sixty 6 Caterers, Panache Entertainment Group, the We Care 4 All Foundation, and the Law Firm of Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri & Jacobs.