PBA members from across Bergen County delivered more than 2000 toys to area hospitals and shelters on Tuesday, toys that had been collected for weeks at myriad police departments.
The "is like a chain link fence," Closter police officer and founding SRT member Don Nicoletti said as he surveyed the endless piles of toys being delivered by dozens of volunteers. "We're only as strong as each link."
Nicoletti told Patch that this was "by far the best year ever" with the most toys being collected and distributed.
"Every year this event grows," Nicoletti said proudly. "This year is much bigger because a lot more agencies have jumped onto the SRT sleigh."
He also commented that even in an economy like this, people continue to be generous.
"Even people who don't have much give because they know that there are others who have less," he said.
The engine room of the firehouse was overflowing with every imaginable toy--toddler bikes, board games, video games, dolls, stuffed animals, trucks, trains, puzzles, race cars, and Barbie. Lots and lots of Barbie.
Members of the filled two army trucks with bags of toys that were delivered to the armory to be distributed among military families.
On hand to feed all the troops was Johnny Meatballs, Frankie Antipasto, Mr. Cupcakes and the Cupcake Cutie. Music was provided by a D.J. to keep the momentum of sorting toys going, and to get everyone into the spirit of the day.
After all of the toys were separated by gender and age, they were packed into bags and loaded into the caravan of police vans, trucks, minivans and cars to be delivered to the hospitals and shelters.
Following in a car behind the caravan was Santa ready to deliver lots of toys, and cheer, to the children at The Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital at Hackensack University Hospital and Medical Center.
The following PBA's participated in this year's toy drive: