Bay Ridge

Third Avenue Merchants collect toys for soldiers’ children

December 15, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Santa Claus says he is pleased that so many toys were donated for the children of soldiers. Bob Howe, president of the Merchants of Third Avenue, and his wife Diane Howe, led the toy drive. Eagle photos by Paula Katinas
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“The generosity of this community is amazing!” Col. Joseph Davidson, commander of the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton, said as he stood with Merchants of Third Avenue President Bob Howe at the business organization’s Christmas Party Monday night at Cebu Restaurant in Bay Ridge.

Davidson had every reason to be cheerful. The party, which gave storeowners on Third Avenue a chance to enjoy a festive night out away from their shops, also served as the drop-off site for a toy drive for the children of military service members at the fort.

Party guests were asked to bring an unwrapped toy to Cebu for the Fort Hamilton kids. Later in the evening, the toys, dozens of them, were presented to Davidson to take back to the fort.

The Merchants of Third Avenue, a group representing store owners on the avenue between 67th and 95th streets, has been conducting Christmas-Hanukkah toy drives for the fort for more than 20 years, according to Howe.

“Our merchants always think of our military service members and their families during the holidays. The merchants have always been very supportive of our toy drive,” Howe told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Guests laden with gifts arrived at the party, placed toys under the Christmas tree and enjoyed cocktails and delicious Italian food.

Santa Claus put in an appearance. Ringing his jingle bells, Santa congratulated the Merchants group on a successful toy drive.

Lisa Becker, past president of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association, was a party guest. The association recently conducted its own toy drive for the children of the fort, she said.


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