The fourth annual Toys for Tots breakfast held Friday morning collected 1,600 toys and $32,000 cash for the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau.
The event was held at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre in benefit of the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau, which operates as the food bank the rest of the year.
Everyone who donated a toy or cash received a free buffet breakfast.
Food bank manager Dave Murray said he was overwhelmed by the results, with the event surpassing last year’s total of 1,300 toys and $26,000 in cash.
“We’re so excited about the support from our community … A large portion of our fundraising comes from this event (and) a lot of our toys come from this event, so it’s very crucial to making Christmas really special for all the kids,” he said.
The event ran from 6 to 9:30 a.m. and featured photos with Santa, a kids’ craft corner, and live entertainment, including the MEI choir and a visit from the Ever After Princesses.
Members of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service were on hand to help organize the toys and to take them to the Christmas Bureau after the event. Also helping out were members of the Abbotsford Police Department and BC Ambulance.
Toys for Tots first ran in 2013 and was modelled after the popular Christmas Wish Breakfast held every year at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver.
The Christmas Bureau provides food and gifts to families in need – including more than 1,500 children – during the holiday season.
This time of year also serves as the main fundraising period for the agency. The funds are used to keep the food bank and its services running throughout the year.
For more information, visit abbotsfordfoodbank.com, call 604-859-5749 or visit in person at 33914 Essendene Ave.