Toys for Tots has series of holiday events this week |

Toys for Tots has series of holiday events this week

Linda Bottjer
The North Tahoe High School Jazz Ensemble performs Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Tahoe City's River Ranch Lodge's Family Winter Welcome Party.

Santa needs your help across the North Shore.

Approximately 130 children from just Incline Village and Crystal Bay annually receive just a single holiday gift, and that comes from from the local Toys for Tots program.

According to Cheryl Delehanty, coordinator of the long-running Lake Tahoe program in Nevada, 2010 saw the need rise dramatically to more than 500 children searching for some seasonal magic.

Three events will offer Tahoans the opportunity to be elves without donning pointy shoes or funny hats.

At Tahoe City’s River Ranch Lodge the Family Winter Welcome Party is in its third year.

By bringing an unwrapped toy or item for children ages infant to teenagers to the restaurant on Tuesday, Dec. 6, celebrants can enjoy a $6 happy hour bar menu until 6:30 p.m. and a specially-priced lasagna dinner.

The spirited atmosphere is heightened by a concert of seasonal music by the North Tahoe High School Jazz Ensemble.

Keeping it sweet will be free cookies and s’mores for children.

The Toys for Tots program began in the late 1940s through the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Its motto of “deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens” has been carried in high regard for four decades by the employees of Coldwell Banker Incline Village Reality.

Delehanty, who has coordinated the event for the past 19 years, is fast to praise fellow employees, other area businesses and residents who dedicate hours of volunteering to make a child happy.

The fun begins from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 with the annual Crab Feed at Rookies Restaurant at Raley’s Plaza in Incline Village. Thanks to owner Serge Rigisich’s donation of the food the only admission is either a toy or a monetary donation.

Saturday’s menu also includes pasta and salad.

A live auction could provide two unique 2012 vacations to the winning bidders.

Rigisich is donating his boat for two days of fishing in Mexico while real-estate agent Pam Fernandez is offering her house on Maui for a five-night stay for up to four people.

When it comes to buying a gift Delehanty has a couple of suggestions.

“We suggest the toy cost range from $15 to $30,” she said. “It can cover board games to a curling iron for a teenager.”

Gift cards are frowned upon due to a family’s possible inability to redeem them.

Village Toys of Incline Village offers a discount on all toys heading to Toys for Tots fundraiser.

The 32nd Kickoff Party will be Wednesday, Dec. 7 at the Chateau also in Incline Village. Marines in their dress blues, people decked out in festive finery and a big guy in red will all converge to dance to the music of DJ Alex “Boogie” Smith.

The fete for goodwill to others will be fueled by appetizers and cocktails and a series of prizes.

Aside from the events, 21 barrels can be found throughout the Nevada side of the North Shore. Delehanty said the last day to donate will be Dec.15.

Anyone who needs a toy from the program needs to register through their church or LifePoint Church located in Incline Village. Proof of residency is required.

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