9-year-old collecting toys for annual holiday drive
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.