The Emporia Police Department Benefit Association is kicking off the season of giving with a showing of “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” during its annual toy drive and raffle at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Granada Theatre.
The drive benefits St. Francis Community Services and TFI Family Services to support local children in foster care.
EPDBA Board Member and Co-Secretary Brittany Jones said there are a lot of family-friendly activities to keep everyone busy ahead of the movie Sunday afternoon.
“We’ll have a station so kids can write their letters to Santa, we’ll have a coloring contest,” she said. “Kids will have a chance to visit with Santa and maybe even the Grinch before the movie.”
Jones said attendees are encouraged to bring gifts for local children in the foster care system. Aside from toys geared for younger children, she said there is also a need for gifts for teens. Gifts like art sets, games, hoodies, hygiene products and gift sets from places like Bath and Body Works, and gift cards are always in high demand.
“Those types of things always go over really well,” Jones said. “We want to make sure all of those kids are able to get something they enjoy.”
Attendees will also have a chance to win some prizes during the annual raffle. Prizes this year include floor seats to the Phil Vassar and Lonestar concert at the Granada on Dec. 14, a bowling package from Flint Hills Lanes, a skating package from Rollers, two gift baskets from Bonkers in Topeka and four pairs of socks and one hour of jump time from Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Topeka.
Raffle tickets are $5 each or $20 for 6 and can be purchased ahead of time at the Emporia Police Department, 518 Mechanic St., between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. Winners do not need to be present to win.
For those unable to make it to Sunday’s event, Jones said this year EPDBA has decided to hold another toy drive from 6 - 9 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Emporia Main Street Incubator Space, 727 Commercial St.
“Santa Claus will be there and we will have a hot cocoa bar,” she said. “Along with the toy drive, we will also be having a non-perishable food drive and every item collected will go to the food pantries at Emporia High School and Emporia State University.”
Jones said the reason the benefit association added another toy drive this year was because there is a great need within the community.
“This is something we’re really passionate about and we just really want to help out the community,” she said. “This is one of the best ways that we can. We like being involved with our community and having those positive interactions with our community members. The greatest thing is that anybody that you see down there from the police department, it’s all volunteer time. Any time you see us out in the community at events, it’s us volunteering our time in the community to make that positive impact.”
Jones said she and the rest of the EPDBA are appreciative of the support of the community for making these toy drives possible.
“We are so appreciative of the Granada Theatre and Emporia Main Street for sharing their space with us,” Jones said. “We’re looking forward to seeing everyone come out to celebrate the season and support an important cause.”
For more information about EPDBA events, follow @EmporiaPoliceDepartmentBenefitAssociation on Facebook.