By Seth Daniel
One of the largest holiday events in Charlestown – with a focus on helping children – will take place this Sunday evening when the Warren Tavern hosts its annual Toys for Tots Donation Drop Off gathering.
Kim Mahoney of the Warren Tavern said it is one of the most exciting and fulfilling events that the Tavern runs all year – for both the staff, owners and the customers.
“It’s such a festive environment and everyone is so generous,” she said. “It’s old Townies and new Townies and dignitaries enjoying themselves. We have appetizers and drinks and it’s a lively event. We get bags full of toys and last year we set a record with more than 20 bags of toys for the Marines to collect. Last year people brought video games, hockey sticks and even bikes. It just goes to show you how generous people are here.”
The event will run from 4-9 p.m. at the Tavern on Sunday, Dec. 6, and runs in conjunction with Mayor Martin Walsh’s Enchanted Trolley Tree Lighting tour – which will hit Thompson Square around 3:15 p.m. on Sunday.
Attorney General Maura Healey will attend, as will Mayor Walsh, State Rep. Dan Ryan and Councilor Sal LaMattina. Last year, Gov. Charlie Baker made a drop-off visit, but it is uncertain if he will attend again.
“It’s very low key; there are no speeches,” said Mahoney. “Everyone just comes to drop off their toy donation and then just mingle with everyone else.”
The request is that a new, unwrapped toy be brought for the price of admission (ages 4-16), and Marines in full dress from Charlestown will be at the door to collect. Appetizers are free at the event.
Mahoney said there will be a raffle as well, and participants will get a ticket for every unwrapped toy they bring.
“You will receive a raffle ticket and there are all kinds of prizes, including sports tickets, grills, coolers and three signed hockey sticks,” she s
aid. “Everybody who bring something, hopefully, will leave with something for their generosity.”
Owners Tom Devlin and Pat O’Sullivan are tireless supporters of this and other community gestures, Mahoney said.
“Pat and Tom are very generous guys to the point that they might be too generous,” she said. “They want to be part of the neighborhood and contribute. They believe in giving back to that and supporting it any way they can.”
Mahoney said all of the donations goes towards the Marines Toys for Tots program – which has existed for decades. “No gift is too big,” she said. “People who walk through the door here never fail to give back. The generosity is encouraging.”