Toy benefit event makes changes

November 16, 2018

Although the usual Gifts for Watertown Kids toy benefit event will not be held at Turner Hall in Watertown -- this year at least -- there will be two separate events to benefit Gifts for Watertown Kids, according to Jeanne Pagel who normally helps coordinate the gift collection.

“With the holidays upon us, we wanted to let the Watertown community know we will not be hosting the annual party and gift collection at Turner Hall this year. However, Yes Watertown will be hosting an event at the Drafty Cellar on Dec. 1 from 7-9 p.m. This event is a toy collection with proceeds benefitting Gifts for Watertown Kids. Biggs Bar in Watertown will also host a Packer Party with a Purpose, a fundraiser Dec. 2 from noon-5 p.m., with a toy collection, several specials and guest bartenders also benefitting Gifts for Watertown Kids.”

More details on each of these events can be found on the respective Facebook pages of the businesses.

“We have been having the event at Turner for perhaps 20 years,” Pagel said. “In the early years, it had been held at a couple of other places. Yes Watertown is having its own Christmas party at the Drafty Cellar and incorporating a toy collection, with proceeds benefitting Gifts for Watertown Kids this year. Biggs Bar is also doing their own event with partial proceeds going to Gifts for Watertown Kids.”

Pagel said she is taking a year off of the party due to the fact she was the only one to organize this year. She said it comes down to a lack of manpower.

“We are still collecting monetary donations and hope to resume the event at Turner next year,” she said. “The raffle prizes and wrapping the raffle baskets is extremely time-consuming. I contact and collect raffle items and two women put the baskets together. For the past several years, it has only been three of us planning and executing the event. I had a fire last year and almost took off last year, but we pulled it together. I contacted the Yes group about doing something and they stepped up. Biggs saw the advertising for the Drafty Cellar and wanted to also do something.”

In addition, the following locations in Watertown will be collection sites for toys this year. They are Associated Bank, Ixonia Bank’s two locations, Partnership Bank, Bank of Lake Mills/American Family Insurance, Grinwald Ford, Oswald Konz, Realty Executives Platinum, Webster Elementary School and Blush Hair Beautique. Look for a box or bin at these locations.

“Especially this year, your financial support is extremely important to help provide holiday gifts and needed items for children of the Watertown Unified School District,” Pagel said. “Your generous donations are used to purchase extra toys and other needed items that will not be collected at the usual Turner Hall event.”

Monetary donations can still be mailed to Gifts for Watertown Kids, 605 Werner St., Watertown, WI 53094.

“Thank you again for your continued support,” Pagel said to the Watertown community. “We hope to see you all next year and hope you will be able to attend one of the local fundraiser events.”

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