Seventeen Schools Collect Over 3,500 New Toys for Christmas and Chanukah Toy Tea
These non-violent toys will benefit more than 5,000 children who are living in 31 shelters for domestic abuse and violence, and those who benefit from other charities such as the Welcome Hall Mission, the Montreal Diet Dispensary, Tyndale St. Georges Parish, St. Willebrord’s Parish and La Rue des Femmes. This is the 14th year of involvement in the Toy Tea Campaign, which is organized under the direction of EMSB Guidance and Spiritual Community Animation Education Consultant Frank Lofeodo.
The participating EMSB schools were: Willingdon and Royal Vale in NDG; Gardenview and Parkdale in St. Laurent; Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount; Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North; Dunrae Gardens and Carlyle in T.M.R.; Honoré Mercier in St. Leonard; John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel; Michelangelo International School in RDP; St. Dorothy in St. Michel; St. Gabriel in Pointe St. Charles; Elizabeth Ballantyne and Edinburgh in Montreal West; Sinclair Laird in Park Extension and Westmount Park. Student representatives from each school, along with their respective spiritual community animators, teachers, administrators and parent volunteers, attended the event to drop off their unwrapped donated toys and receive special certificates of participation from Claire Kruyt, the Toy Tea’s chairperson, along with Santa Claus.
The event also featured the singing of Christmas carols by several private school choirs. Attendees were also treated to performances by the Willingdon, St. Dorothy and Westmount Park school choirs, as well as the award-winning Vincent Massey Collegiate Glee Club.
The previous night – December 6 – a special celebration was held at Tudor Hall to mark the Toy Tea’s 25th anniversary. Emceed by Aphrodite Salas of CTV Montreal News, the event celebrated the achievements of the Toy Tea, which has collected over 100,000 new toys since it was established by Montreal philanthropist Ginger Petty 25 years ago. Co-chairs Claire Kruyt and Sylvie Chagnon praised the efforts of all the volunteers who have made the Toy Tea such a success, and the joy they get when they see the smiles on children’s faces when they receive a new toy from them for Christmas. Entertainment for the evening was provided by the EMSB Chorale, under the direction of Patricia Abbott. The Chorale, who performed at the Toy Tea for the first time, entertained the guests by singing a selection of popular Christmas and Chanukah holiday songs.