Santa visits nursery toy drive

Santa has been on a tour of Queens lately, taking requests from tykes of course, but also helping the North Queens Leaders Group, in conjunction with the Queens Garden Nursery, collect toys for St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital in Bayside.

On a cold and stormy Saturday, December 5, old Kris Kringle set up shop under a warm tent at the nursery, located at 154-10 Cross Island Parkway in Whitestone, where tykes (and their parents) could get their picture taken with Santa, in exchange for donating a toy.

Santa’s helpers gave out popcorn, cotton candy and hot chocolate and Cascarino’s donated pizza. Meanwhile, his helpers from the local Knights of Columbus braved the wind and rain, collecting cold cash from motorists at nearby intersections.

“The weather was pretty bad, so we extended it to Sunday,” said Sal Bacarella, spokesperson for the group. “It was a success; we collected about $1,000 and over a hundred toys. Louie Zuccarello and the staff of the Nursery did a great job.”

The North Queens Leaders Group and local businesses are taking the Santa show on the road – to Bowne Park in Flushing

On Saturday, December 19 they’re having a free “Winter Festival” in the park, at 32nd Avenue and 156th Street, to benefit the Make a Wish Foundation, collect Toys For Tots and winter coats for the needy.

In addition to Santa and his elves, refreshments, balloon characters and giveaways, there will be live entertainment from Bella Bianca Productions – and a lot of Christmas spirit, according to Bacarella.

For more information on the festival, call 646-515-2015. Visit the Make a Wish Foundation, website at www.metrony.wish.org.


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