Toys for Tots: 5th Annual Toys for Tots Benefit Party (with Javier Colon)(2016)Posted 26 Dec 2016 by John Phillips
This is the 5th year we have collected toys for tots. The first one was a ribbon cutting for our new office, where we still call home. In 2012 and a week before our event, we met with Jordan Davis’s family. We had the party planned, so I asked if they minded if we dedicated it to him since we hired a DJ. TV stations did live feeds from our office. It was the beginning of the crazy five year run which was to come. The day after our party, John attended Jordan’s funeral in Atlanta and began a 4 year mission for Justice for Jordan.
In 2014, we had become one of the largest collection spots for Toys for Tots in the Jacksonville, Florida area. We stuck with them because they do so much good for those who are less fortunate and because of the military affiliation. People kept coming and donating more and more toys. We filled up two vans that year.
Things changed in 2015 a little. We brought snow in for the first time- 20 tons. The main reason boils down to the children. It was the first time our office represented more than a handful of kids, as we had 104 children clients who were harmed by pediatric dentist Howard Schneider. Plus, John’s own children were getting older and there were so few “kid friendly” Christmas parties. So, we made the party a little bigger and we broke Toys for Tots collection records.
This year, we made it more of an event. The lights were larger, the snow was higher (over 20 tons), we flew in a friend we met while sponsoring the Murray Brothers CaddyShack Charity tournament- Javier Colon, who won the Voice on NBC. He’s a parent first and that means a lot to us. We had well over $10,000 in toys donated, which filled 5 vans. They had to haul loads off as people brought toys in. One chiropractor brought a literal pick-up truck load of toys.