Photos by Peter M. Budraitis (archival images from December 2021)
Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D – Glen Cove) announced the launch of the 12th annual Toys for Tots Drive at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum during a kickoff celebration held at the Coral House in Baldwin on Thursday, Oct. 20.
Joe LaPadula and Jon Holzer, owners of Glen Cove-based Martino Auto Products, inaugurated the toy drive in 2010. Since then, it has grown to become the largest single-day Toys for Tots collection event in America and a festive holiday celebration featuring food trucks, live music, plein-air artists, family activities and hundreds of fabulous exotic and vintage cars for donors and revelers to enjoy. The tremendous success of this effort has been an outgrowth of partnerships with the Office of the Nassau County Executive, Nassau Coliseum, Retired USMC Major Chuck Kilbride, the Nassau County Police Department, local community leaders, automotive enthusiasts, and a constellation of generous supporters.
This year’s event is set for 9 a.m. – noon on Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Coliseum, where organizers hope to eclipse last year’s record-setting haul of significantly more than 100,000 individual donations.
“From the moment they embarked upon this philanthropic journey 12 years ago, it has been a privilege to work alongside Joe and Jon as they brightened the lives of countless families throughout our region,” Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton said. “For generations, Toys for Tots has delivered the magical, hopeful spirit of the holiday season to families in need. I encourage you to join us in this remarkable homegrown effort and help to make the season brighter for deserving families and children in Nassau County and across our region.”