Thursday, December 20, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Joe Trujillo, Diane Williams and Antonio Sanchez inside of Mariella’s Banquets in Maywood just before Sanchez prepares to drop off toys to area young people. | VFP
A local businessman and village trustee gave away more than 500 toys to area young people ahead of Christmas.
Antonio Sanchez, the owner of Mariella’s Banquets 124 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood, greeted Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview District 89 board member Diane Williams and Joe Trujillo, the owner of Try Our Pallets 37 S. 9th Ave. in Maywood, at his banquet facility on Dec. 20 to begin the process of giving all of those toys away.
Sanchez, who hosts the annual toy drive every year, said that this is the biggest year yet for the event. Each year in the months leading up to Christmas, Sanchez seeks donated toys from his customers and area business owners like Trujillo.
This year, he said, he matched every toy that his customers donated while Trujillo provided more than 400 gift cards in addition to the hundreds of toys that were donated. In addition, Sanchez said, the Proviso Township Ministerial Alliance donated scarves, hats and gloves for area young people.
A mound of gift cards donated by Joe Trujillo. | VFP
The much-needed holiday gifts will go to students in District 89 and young people identified by officials at the Quinn Center of St. Eulalia in Maywood.
The toy drive is just one part of Sanchez’s annual holiday largesse. On Dec. 19, he hosted 200 Maywood senior citizens at his banquet facility during a free holiday extravaganza that featured a performance by Maywood Fine Arts dancers, among other fun offerings.
The senior party was organized by Larry Shapiro, who facilities the Maywood Senior Club.
“This is what I’m all about — businesses coming together to get things done,” said Sanchez. “That’s what community is about to me.”
Maywood families to receive free toys Dec. 22
ChiGivesBack Inc. will host the Chicagoland Toy Drive for the second consecutive year. The organization collected more than 2,000 toys that will be distributed throughout the Chicago area, including in Maywood.
On Saturday, Dec. 22, 9 a.m., at Garfield School, 1514 S. 9th Street in Maywood, ChiGivesBack will distribute toys to families who receive housing vouchers that are administered by the Maywood Housing Authority.
“We are really excited to spend our upcoming weekend with Chicagoland families,” said Justin Morgan, a ChiGivesBack advisory board member. “And we are especially happy to be bringing Santa Clause in on a firetruck at our Maywood event. VFP
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