- BC Games
Connect with Us
Victor Ghirra Toy Drive results in a mountain of toys
The annual Victor Ghirra Toy Drive just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
The seven annual fundraiser, this year benefiting the Richmond Christmas Fund among others, drew some 300 people throughout the course of the day on Saturday at the Riverside Palace and collected a record 6,700 toys, and counting.
“It went really well,” said Micheal Ghirra, youngest brother of Victor Ghirra, a Matthew McNair grad who passed away at the age of 37 in 2007. “We had a lot of community support.”
As word spreads each year about the toy drive, Michael Ghirra said more and more people are stepping forward to say they have long been seeking a way to give to charities, but didn’t quite know how.
“The giving spirit is still there,” he said, adding that people are still dropping by to make donations.
Michael congratulated all of the organizations that continue to do their part in making the event a success, including Vancity Credit Union and The Co-operators insurance firm.
Michael said the annual drive provides an opportunity for family and friends to recall the life of Victor Ghirra, who they describe as a man with a golden heart who was taken much too early.
Victor was involved in many charitable initiatives, including B.C. Children’s Hospital. Every Christmas, he would buy thousands of dollars of toys and go to Children’s Hospital to donate them to needy children. According to Harvey Kooner of the Benevolent Brotherhood Society, when Victor would drop them off, he would be asked “Who are you and where are these toys from, which organization?” Victor would reply: “It doesn’t matter who I am or where I am from, these toys are for the kids and that’s all you need to know.” Victor made trips to the hospital for more than a dozen years, but didn’t tell anyone what he was up to.
His friends and relatives have kept up that tradition of giving by amassing a mountain of toys every year.
Among the beneficiares are B.C. Children’s Hospital, Richmond Christmas Fund, Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, Keys Solutions (helping families in Whalley) and GirlKind Organization (helping girls in India).