Tag Archives: Rumson DPW Toy Drive

R-FH Area Holiday Celebrating & Giving

As the classic song goes, it’s that most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time for tree lighting, Santa arrivals, community cheer and a lot of giving.

So, to kick off the weekend in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, the season of celebrating and giving is getting a big jump start with the annual Rumson DPW Toy Drive today and tonight and Fair Haven’s tree lighting, Santa visit and holiday stroll through the business district.

It begins today from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in Rumson with the annual toy drive, which is a festive community gathering packed with holiday spirit.

“The employees of the Rumson Public Works Department will once again be volunteering their time to collect new toys for needy children,” the Rumson website announced. “They are asking you to help by donating a NEW, UNWRAPPED toy for a boy or girl.”

And this isn’t your ordinary drop off and run toy drive. People in the area like to gather, socialize, sip on some cocoa and give. The event, for those who cannot make it on Friday, is also run on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

And down the road in Fair Haven, Santa is coming to town again on the firetruck. The borough’s annual tree lighting and celebrating starts at 5 p.m. with Santa arriving at 6 p.m. at Memorial Park at the corner of Fair Haven and River roads.

The usual holiday festivities will ensue, with games, crafts, song, photos with Santa and a stroll in the business district where businesses will hold open houses, offer refreshments, specials and socializing.

You never know who you’ll run into — a snowman, a neighbor or an old friend. It’s all about the Fair Haven community spirit tonight.

And, continued over the weekend …

Fair Haven Councilman Christopher Rodriquez is reminding folks to
“please bring a new unwrapped toy to one of three locations on Saturday: Rec basketball games at Knollwood and Sickles gyms and the Library. Send me a message if you have questions about timing or anything else and thanks for bringing joy to kids in need.”

And at 39 Parker Avenue, resident Maria Ruscigno, in an effort to give back the kindness she and her family received when their son was hospitalized, is conducting a pajama drive for Jersey Shore University Medical Center to keep sick kids and their parents cozy through the holidays and beyond. The collecting is being done right on her porch. She invites residents to stop over and see her decorations and drop off some PJs.

“Happy Friday Fair Haven friends, we are still collecting Pajamas for Jersey Shore Medical Center families!!!” she said in a Facebook post. “Swing by this weekend check out the small display we did and perhaps donate a pair of Pajamas.
39 PARKER AVE!!!!!!!!”

Happy holiday celebrating, all! See you around the towns!

 

Tradition: Rumson’s Toy Drive

By Elaine Van Develde

Santa Claus is coming to … the Rumson Department of Public Works.

That’s right. It’s that time of the year, on Friday and Saturday, when Rumson tradition takes hold and Santa, in the form of countless charitable elves, brings toys to the DPW garage on East River Road to bring a better Christmas to children in need.

But this is not just a toy drive. It’s an annual Rumson community tradition. It’s hosted by the DPW employees and the community as a whole, replete with holiday-appropriate hot chocolate, candy canes and yuletide company.

“It’s definitely turned into a big community event,” DPW organizer Mark Wellner said. “A lot of people stop down, bring the kids and socialize. We give the kids the candy canes and hot chocolate and there’s coffee for the adults. It’s really nice.”

Mayor John Ekdahl echoed the sentiment.

“The residents of Rumson are thrilled that the DPW department has for years taken upon themselves to run a Christmas toy drive,” the mayor said. “Different charities are chosen each year and the donated toys always find their way to the most needy children. The enthusiasm of the town is evident by the numbers of toys dropped off each year at the garages behind Borough Hall.”

This is the 15th year of the drive for which organizers usually set a goal of gathering at least 1,000 toys that will get funneled to the kids via Family & Children’s Services, Long Branch, and The Salvation Army, Red Bank.

And “this year we’re shooting for 1,200 or even more,” Wellner said. “We’re always trying to up that number and better ourselves to get more toys to the kids.”

Organizers ask that anyone wishing to donate bring a new, unwrapped gift to the DPW from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Friday and/or 9 a..m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.