(UNIONDALE, N.Y.) - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum was once again transformed into Santa’s workshop on Sunday, Dec. 4 as thousands flocked to Uniondale to support an event that has grown to become America’s largest one-day Toys for Tots drive.
As it has been since its inception, the 12th annual drive was spearheaded by Glen Cove businessmen Joe LaPadula and Jon Holzer of Martino Auto Concepts. Featuring food trucks, music, plein air artists, family activities and more amidst hundreds of exotic and vintage vehicles, officials estimated that the event generated more than 166,000 individual donations were gathered, which will equip Toys for Tots in its 75th anniversary year to meet requests for assistance in Nassau County and throughout our region.
“During the holiday season, a toy can mean so much more than just being a gift under the tree - it can be a symbol of caring and a beacon of hope for brighter days in the future,” Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton said. “For the last 12 years, Joe LaPadula and Jon Holzer have worked so diligently alongside USMC Major (Ret.) Chuck Kilbride to unite us in support of a cause that brings joy to so many deserving children and families in our region. For me, this event is one of the highlights of the holiday season, and I am eternally grateful to everyone for continuing to support such a crucial charitable mission.”
Key sponsors of the 2022 Toys for Tots drive included: the U.S. Marine Corps; the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences; Gabrielli Truck Sales; First City Project; Bolla Market; Universal Autosports; Hunter Roberts Construction Group; Long Island Sports Cars; Ryan Friedman Motor Cars; PCarMarket Automotive Enthusiast Marketplace; Ferrari Club of America Long Island Chapter; Race the North; Rally Point East; NYSpace Finders; RXR; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; Maserati Long Island; Porsche South Shore; Oyster Bay Property Management; Serendipity 3; Ferrari of Long Island; the Hofstra Motorsport Engineering Club, and an array of local automotive clubs and community stakeholders.
Nassau County Police Department officers, under the command of NCPD Commissioner Patrick Ryder, kept traffic moving briskly as a team of volunteers collected and sorted donations. Members of the Glen Cove Fire Department provided additional assistance, and the Uniondale and Hempstead Fire Departments used their trucks to stage the American flag arch at the entrance of Nassau Coliseum.
There’s still plenty of time to support Toys for Tots this holiday season. Visit toysfortots.org to find a drop-off location near you or to make a monetary donation.