Baltimore City Council President Jack Young & the Toys for Tots Program

CC Council Prez, Jack Young, a US Marine & Mayor Catherine Pugh

Thursday afternoon marked the official launching of the annual “Toys for Tots” program. It was marked, via a reception, at the Baltimore City Hall, with City Council President Jack Young, its chief local facilitator, presiding.

Three members of the U.S. Marine Corps attended. The toys are collected by the Office of the City Council President and distributed to the community by the Corps.

The base of the City Hall rotunda was stacked high with toys. Included with the piles of gifts were row after row of colorful children’s bicycles. In the center was a huge Christmas tree.

dsc08275Amazon, bless its generous heart, donated $15,000 worth of toys. They arrived earlier today at City Hall. The U.S. Marines Toys for Tots’ program is a nationwide effort.

In attendance besides the above, were the Mayor of Baltimore, the Honorable Catherine Pugh; City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke; City Councilman Eric Costello; and the Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.

Food, soft drinks and Zeke’s coffee were available to the folks enjoying the event, along with some delicious-looking baked cakes.

Musical entertainment was provided by the “Swingin’ Swamis.” Trust me, they were right on the beat all evening long.

There were even three “giant” entertainers making the rounds. The trio, on stilts, call themselves the “Big Whimsy.”

And, of course, you can’t have a Toys for Tots program without the appearance of the big guy in the red outfit, with that bushy white beard and that ho-ho-ho accent – Santa Claus himself!

To learn more about this wonderful annual program check out the website.

More of my photos can be found on Facebook.