The Clarion Hotel’s Toys for Tots event benefiting the Archway Food Bank has moved locations due to flooding at the hotel.
The event now runs Friday, Nov. 26 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Abbotsford Centre, 33800 King Rd.
Toys for Tots collects new unwrapped toys and gifts for children and youth who may otherwise go without during the holiday season.
Rebecca Thuro, a food bank supervisor, said organizers considered cancelling the event after flooding in and around the Clarion Hotel on North Parallel Road made it impossible to host there.
But the Canucks organization stepped forward to host the event at Abbotsford Centre.
Toys for Tots is the primary fundraiser for the Archway Christmas Bureau, which is expected to provide gifts for more than 1,800 children in Abbotsford this year.
The event includes appearances throughout the day by the Ever After Snow Princesses, the MEI Chamber Singers, the Screaming Eagles Marching Band, and Santa.
Due to the last-minute change of venue, organizers are currently unsure if they will be able to provide “breakfast-to-go” as planned.
“Despite everything else that is going on, our sponsors, volunteers and entertainers have been so willing to pivot and do what needs to be done,” said event coordinator Patricia Driessen. “We had so many offers from people willing to help out and are so grateful to the Canucks for taking on this event on such short notice.”
Another way people can give is with gifts for older adults under the new Seniors Tree sponsored by Pacific Quorum Properties.
“At the food bank, we’ve noticed an increased number of seniors needing support. With their fixed incomes, they aren’t always able to celebrate special occasions and they may not have family support. With the donated gifts, we can help make their Christmas memorable,” Thuro said.
Suggested gifts for seniors include toiletries, cozy socks, mittens or toques, books, gift cards, puzzles and other games. Gifts for teens are encouraged.
Those who cannot make the event can drop off gifts at the food bank at 33914 Essendene Ave. or one of the drop off locations listed at AbbyToysForTots.com.
Financial donations can be made at Abbotsfordfoodbank.com/T4TDonate.