9-year-old col­lect­ing toys for an­nual hol­i­day drive

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE -

MID­DLE­TOWN — Gianna, a 9-year-old girl from Mid­dle­town, is seek­ing help to make her wish come true. Gianna wants to help the chil­dren at Yale New Haven Chil­dren's Hos­pi­tal to have a happy hol­i­day and give them a rea­son to smile. Gianna will be host­ing a fundraiser and toy drive for her fourth year on Dec. 3. Her goal is help fill the Aux­il­iary hol­i­day shop at Yale with as many toys as it can hold.

The Aux­il­iary shop al­lows fam­i­lies with sick chil­dren to choose hol­i­day gifts for their child with­out ever hav­ing to leave the hos­pi­tal. Gianna says that she feels like she is their Santa Claus. She also pro­vides toys to the Toy Closet Pro­gram at Yale. The goal of the Toy Closet Pro­gram is to pro­vide each pe­di­atric pa­tient with an age-ap­pro­pri­ate toy or small gift when they are dis­charged or to ease their fears as they go through a va­ri­ety of ther­a­pies or med­i­cal treat­ments. Be­ing in the hos­pi­tal can be a very scary time for a child and Gianna wants to make that time a little less stress­ful.

Gianna will be rec­og­nized at Yale on Thurs­day­for all that she has done for the hos­pi­tal. In an­tic­i­pa­tion of her big event, she has de­liv­ered toy col­lec­tion boxes to Jes­sica's Color Room, 558 New­field St Mid­dle­town, Jack­son Chevro­let 660 South Main St., Mid­dle­town and An­to­nio's Mar­ket and Cater­ing 650 S Main St., Mid­dle­town for those who would like to do­nate toys. The event will be held on Dec. 3 at Carmela's on the Ex­ten­sion, 139 Main St Ex­ten­sion, Mid­dle­town, and will in­clude a DJ, char­ac­ter en­ter­tain­ment, face paint­ing, a lo­cal au­thor with a book sign­ing, wine tast­ing and a medium for read­ings as well. Do­na­tions are be­ing de­liv­ered and picked up daily from as far as Ore­gon. The do­na­tions for the raf­fle have come in from Terez of NYC, Hard Rock Café of Fox­woods, Bos­ton Celtics, lo­cal ar­ti­sans and so much more. Last year there were over 90 raf­fle items, which at­tracts many sup­port­ers.

Tick­ets, which must be pur­chased in ad­vance, are $22 for adults and $10 for chil­dren 10 and un­der, with an un­wrapped toy. Tracy Sut­cliffe can be con­tacted to pur­chase tick­ets 860-316-7943, or mes­saged at Gianna's Wish 4th An­nual Fundraiser page on Face­book.

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