(7:20 PM) Donations Collected For Local Toys For Tots Program

Toys and monetary donations were accepted during a performance Sunday at the Chautauqua Lake Pops by the Shore in Mayville. The collection was a collaborative effort by Chautauqua Connections Children's Coalition, Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department, Mayville Volunteer Fire Department and the Chautauqua County Toys for Tots program. Submitted photo

MAYVILLE — Santa Claus would have had a tough time landing his sleigh and reindeer at on Chautauqua Lake on Sunday, so the Chautauqua Lake Pops by the Shore, Chautauqua Connections Children’s Coalition, Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department, Mayville Volunteer Fire Department and the Chautauqua County Toys for Tots program were there to help.

All the agencies came together to celebrate Christmas in July at the Parrots of the Carribean Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band Show on the floating stage for one of the many events held this year by the Chautauqua Lake Pops by the Shore in Mayville. Patrons brought toys and made monetary donations to the Mayville and Chautauqua Lake fire departments that were set up in the parking lot of the event.

“Both volunteer fire departments had toy events for us in the fall and winter of 2018, and when we had a shortage just before Christmas they stepped up and were a big reason we were able to get over the top,” said Patrick Smeraldo, executive director of the Chautauqua County Children’s Coalition, which is the lead agency for the Chautauqua County Toys for Tots program.

Smeraldo, who is one of the three coordinators along with Heather Brown and Terri Johnson of the Resource Center, which also plays a huge role in the Toys campaign, stated “It’s great when childhood agencies collaborate to benefit programming for our young ones. That’s what we do, but when you can collaborate with tremendous partners like local volunteer fire departments and the Chautauqua Lake Pops by the Shore, then you have the ingredients of a truly collaborative community.”

“Mr. Dan Dalpra and his staff of the Pops and Mary Briggs and the other volunteer firefighter men and women went above and beyond for Toys for Tots and we couldn’t be more appreciative,” he said.