Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — And they are off!
The 2012 Toy Challenge, the competition that will produce many winners this holiday season, kicked off Friday at a gathering of local business representatives and charity organizations.
The challenge, which started last year to benefit the Community Action of Orleans County’s annual toy drive, has expanded to nine businesses and covers the entire county by supporting the Medina Area Association of Church’s efforts to provide Christmas gifts for children who otherwise may not have them.
At Friday’s planning meeting, the focus what much more on how to provide for an increasing need than the competitive aspect of the challenge. According to Community Action of Orleans County Director of Community Services Annette Finch, more than 1,000 children will benefit from the joint effort this year.
”We can see the smiles on the children’s faces and the happiness in the parents that they can provide a Christmas for their families,” Finch said.
Nine local factories will vie to see who can collect the most, adjusted by the size of the business — so that Phinney Tool and Die, whose three dozen employees won last year, can compete with larger companies like Baxter Healthcare.
The end result of the competition, which ends on Dec. 7 this year, is the astounding amount of giving that the combined effort produces.
”When we went to the church basement, it brought tears to my eyes to see rows and rows of toys,” Carolyn Wagner, BMP America’s Human Resources Manager, said.
Most of all, the challenge is to overwhelm community agencies with support in a trying time of the year.
”We care about the greater good of the community,” Worthing Quality Manager Andrew Szatkowski said.
To that end, other groups, like the Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Medina Business Association and the Albion Merchants Association will join in.