The Thirsty Beaver and co-host Jacob Belt are inviting members of the community to participate in the seventh annual toy drive to support U.S. Marines and Veterans Inc.
The event will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 2, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Thirsty Beaver’s Cranston location at 288 Atwood Ave.
The toy drive is a large community effort with the goal to make sure every child receives a holiday toy for the holidays. Organizers are hoping to break their record from last year, when 5,000 toys were collected.
The Thirsty Beaver opened its first location in Cranston in May 2013. Over the past several years, its ownership group – which includes Ward 4 City Councilman Ed Brady – has opened up two additional Thirsty Beaver locations while helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to various nonprofits throughout the New England community.
Brady said the team continues to live by the motto “make a living out of giving.”
“We are happy to do our small part in helping others in need during the holidays,” he said. “We certainly couldn’t do it without the help of so many amazing, kind-hearted people, and we are very fortunate to have so many friends and family that continue to support these great causes.”
Organizers are asking members of the community to bring an unwrapped toy to the Cranston location during the event, which will feature music, surprise local celebrity guests, a visit from Santa, members of the Marine Corps, Miss Teen and Miss RI USA, and more.
“I have been through difficult holiday seasons with our family growing up and understand what some families can go through during the holiday season,” Brady said. “We are fortunate enough to have the ability to give back and have the help of so many amazing people. We are happy to do our small part and hopeful no child is left behind this holiday season. Seeing the continued generosity and support truly reminds us what this season is all about.”
Just some of the local businesses that step up and support this drive every year include Don Parsons and Taylor Swanson from Anytime Realty, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, David Paolo and Skypath Security, Rob Grieco and Grieco Automotive, Dan Ashworth and NES Security, Dan Gruslin and Allstate Lock, Cranston Middle School Athletic Director and co-owner of the Thirsty Beaver Justin Erickson, Warren Howard of Howard’s Lawn Care, Cranston City Council President Mike Farina, Ward 2 Councilman Paul McAuley, Ward 5 Councilman Chris Paplauskas, Ward 6 Councilman Mike Favicchio, Western Hills cross country coach Nicole Renzulli and her team, Citywide Councilman Ken Hopkins, Zach Levesque and Northpointe Bank PVD, Brian Cipolla and Reflections by National Gold, David DiMaio and the Cranston West Alumni Association, The Body Rock Team and many more.
“This toy drive is one of the largest toy drives throughout the state of Rhode Island and we are truly blessed to have support from so many amazing businesses and people throughout Cranston and beyond,” Brady said.