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Christmas comes early to Baltimore’s City Hall

12/13/2013, 6 a.m.
The holiday season arrived early at Baltimore’s City Hall and for hundreds of area underprivileged children as part of City ...
United States Marine Russell Csigay; Choo Smith of the Harlem Globetrotters; City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young; and United States Marine, Galen Theus at the Toys for Tots event at Baltimore’s City Hall. Gar Roberts

— The holiday season arrived early at Baltimore’s City Hall and for hundreds of area underprivileged children as part of City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s 2nd Annual Toys for Tots holiday reception.

Armed with a few helpers, Council President Young transformed City Hall’s normally quiet rotunda into every child’s dream: a scene from Christmas morning— if that day included hundreds of bicycles, Easy Bake Ovens, basketballs, footballs, baby dolls and table-top soccer sets.

Thanks to the generosity of local corporations, Council President Young was able to purchase hundreds of toys, like LEGO sets and skateboards, which were on display during a holiday reception at City Hall on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.

Members of the general public were invited to bring one unwrapped children’s toy to gain admission to the event and enjoy live music and delicious food from some of Baltimore’s best restaurants. Council President Young welcomed special guest Gerrard Sheppard, wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens.

“Our goal is to pack City Hall full of wonderful toys that will ultimately put smiles on the faces of very deserving young people,” Council President Young said. “During this holiday season this is one small way for us all to show that Baltimore cares.”

The Toys for Tots holiday reception is part of Council President Young’s ongoing P.L.A.Y. (Productive Lives, Active Youth) campaign. P.L.A.Y. provides Baltimore’s youth with a wide range of opportunities to strengthen their self-confidence, develop leadership skills, learn from positive role models, and be rewarded for their academic achievements. P.L.A.Y. encourages them to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.