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  • Writer's pictureJack Coakley

5 Golden Years: Cleveland’s Toy Drive Initiative Continues to Flourish

Our annual toy drive event that now spans across the state of Ohio stems from humble beginnings 5 years ago in our Cleveland office. From day one, the mission was simple: bring together the Cleveland community to make sure that all children, regardless of their background, have a gift under their tree this holiday season. With plenty of help from our dedicated contributors and our friends at the Cleveland Police Foundation, our Annual Toy Drive grew from a simple idea into our largest philanthropic event of the year.

The efforts in Cleveland are spearheaded by longtime organizers Jeff Zemito and Jonathan Goldston. “Each holiday season, countless donations come in from our colleagues, friends, clients, and community leaders” said Jeff. “It is incredible to see so many come out to support this cause.” Jeff and Jonathan not only managed incoming donations, but also orchestrated a two-day toy drive shopping marathon with the help of their support teams and devoted volunteers. “Thanks to our friends over at Steelyard Target in Cleveland, we were able to fill dozens of shopping carts full of toys to be given away to children who really need it the most” said Jonathan.

The charitable acts didn’t stop there. Furthering a tradition that started last year, the Skylight Foundation also teamed up with the American Heart Association, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Special Wish Foundation to “adopt” 13 families in need. Each of these families have a child battling serious illnesses, so to give the gift of hope, our staff assisted Saint Nick with the family’s entire Christmas list. “These brave children and parents have been through so much in their lives, so having the opportunity to extend a helping hand during this time of year is beyond rewarding” said Jeff Zemito.

Cleveland’s Toy Drive concluded on December 11th with the Foundation’s renowned Networking Event. Over one hundred attendees were treated to local delicacies, libations, and a visit from Santa Claus himself. In addition, the Cleveland Police Foundation was presented with this year’s donations—more than 3,000 toys! Capt. Keith Sulzer of the CPD gave a stirring speech about the positive impact of these toys and how they bring joy to children across the Cleveland area. “We are beyond grateful for the Cleveland Police Foundation and share our success with every member of their team” said Jeff.

The Cleveland team is honored to serve the community for the 5th year in a row and would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts. A huge shout out to Platform Beer, Rebol, Steelyard Commons Target, Townhall, Penthouse Events CLE, and the Cleveland Police Foundation for sponsoring the event and making this year’s Toy Drive another success. “We look forward to seeing you all at next year’s event!” said Jonathan.

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