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Monroe County Partners with Pirate Toy Fund for Second Annual Toy Giveaway

Monroe County Partners with Pirate Toy Fund for Second Annual Toy Giveaway

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and Gary Smith, Founder and Executive Director of the Pirate Toy Fund, host a second annual toy giveaway for children in need at the Blue Cross Arena. Over 3,500 children were invited to attend and receive a toy generously donated by Monroe County residents.

“For a second year in a row, I’m delighted to join Gary the Happy Pirate and the Pirate Toy Fund to bring the joy of receiving a gift to even more children for the holidays,” said Dinolfo. “There is no greater thrill than seeing a child’s face as they open a new toy in celebration of the holiday season. I offer my thanks to all those who donated gifts to this worthy cause and to Gary Smith for helping to make our toy drive a new holiday tradition.”

Smith, affectionately known in Monroe County as “Gary the Happy Pirate,” collects thousands of toys every year for the Pirate Toy Fund. Donated toys come primarily from generous County residents, and are then distributed to children in need.

"This is a special event near and dear to me that I've been wanting to do for almost 10 years. With the help of the County and our sponsors, we've made it a reality for a second year in row. I am very enthused with the positive reception from the community and looking forward for this event to become an annual holiday tradition bringing smiles to children for years to come," said Gary the Happy Pirate, Founder and Executive Director of the Pirate Toy Fund.

The Pirate Toy Fund was founded in 1995 by local children’s entertainer “Gary the Happy Pirate.” It collects donated toys and distributes them to children suffering from illness, tragedy or children with special needs. Since its inception, the Pirate Toy Fund has distributed nearly 250,000 toys and continues to pursue new avenues to expand its mission.

The Monroe County Department of Human Services (DHS) helped facilitate today’s toy giveaway, sending invitations to 3,500 children who otherwise may not receive gifts this holiday season.