December 1, 2016 10:45 pm
Updated: December 2, 2016 5:07 am

Around 10,000 toys collected during the annual Toy Drive Live

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The tenth annual toy drive was once again a huge success as an estimated 10,000 toys were collected for needy families in the GTA along with $8,000 in financial donations.

“The need to donate toys to children so that they can have the Christmas they deserve is growing every year,” said Toronto Fire Services Capt. Rick Berenz.

Large crowds came out to Toy Drive Live at CF Shops at Don Mills

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For the tenth year in a row, Global News partnered with Toronto Fire Services to help collect toys for deserving families across the GTA.

“We’ve got around 70 off-duty firefighters here. You can tell by the smiles on their faces they absolutely love it,” said Berenz.

Susan Hay with firefighters at Toy Drive Live

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Global News anchors Alan Carter and Farah Nasser got into the spirit and anchored the nightly newscast live on location Thursday evening amid hundreds of people who came down to celebrate the season of giving.

Donated gifts began arriving even before the event began at 5:00 p.m. By the end of the night there were bags of toys piled around the Christmas trees.

Bags of toys donated by the public at Toy Drive Live

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There was also plenty of entertainment to keep the crowd energized.

This year featured a full range of Corus Entertainment personalities, including favourites from YTV like Carlos from “The Zone”.

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AM640 and 102.1 The Edge also joined forced with Global News to celebrate the season by offering activities for the public.

And of course the night would not be complete without a visit from Santa himself. He joined ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey to spread holiday cheer to the hundreds that gathered at CF Shops at Don Mills for the annual tradition.

ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey with Santa Claus at Toy Drive Live

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For those who couldn’t make it, donations will be accepted at any local Toronto fire station until Christmas, and monetary donations will be accepted throughout January at CanadaHelps.org.

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© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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