16th annual toy giveaway ‘gives the kids a chance to enjoy the day’

1,000 toys, 250 bikes will be given out during 16th annual event Dec. 17 in downtown Middletown.

MIDDLETOWN — Several Middletown organizations and businesses are teaming up to make Christmas merrier for local children and their families.

The 16th Louella Thompson’s Feed the Hungry Toy Giveaway will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 17 in a parking lot near Holiday Whopla, a downtown holiday festival and ice rink.

Donated Christmas gifts will be presented to 1,000 local children and 250 bikes, courtesy of BB Rents, a property management company, will be raffled off, said Deborah Patterson, executive director of Feed the Hungry Project.

While there, the children can write letters to Santa, eat free cheese coneys from Gold Star Chili, 449 Oxford State Road, cookies and drink hot chocolate and skate on the Holiday Whopla ice rink.

Jeff Payne, executive director of Downtown Middletown Inc., said his organization is assisting in the program, though no plans have been finalized.

Avinne Kiser, founder of Holiday Whopla, said she looks at the ice rink as a “community asset.” The goal, she said, is to share the rink with many organizations to meet their missions.

“It’s not a business,” she said. “We hope it gives children and their families a fun place to make memories.”

If kids enjoy their childhood, Kiser said they’re more likely to remain in the city and raise their families in Middletown.

Lesley Floyd, administrative assistant at Feed the Hungry, said it’s important to provide these type of free holiday events.

“It’s a day of fun,” she said. “It gives the kids a chance to enjoy the day.”

Patterson said no kids should be “left out” during the holidays, regardless of their financial situation.


WHAT: Feed the Hungry Toy Giveaway

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 17

WHERE: 39 N. Broadway, downtown Middletown

HOW TO PRE-REGISTER: Call 513-423-0433


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