Welcome back folks. It's been one crazy summer for us here in the Uncle Neil & Friends Annual Toy Drive Family. My father (Our Esteemed Master Of Ceremonies) Bernie gave us a bit of a scare and spent some time in the hospital. (No worries, he's all better now) There was a huge retirmenet party for our musical director Mark. A big 50th birthday party for my brother Shawn. (One of our hardest working voluteers) And as for Uncle Neil, there was a broken tailbone, a broken rib, a broken tooth and a partridge in a pear tree. Let me tell you, the craziness of the Toy Drive may just be the distraction that the doctor ordered.
We received word from Gene over at ATOMIC AGE COMICS that they'll be donating again this year. Gene and his wife Adrienne are wonderfully kind hearted people that have been with us for three years now. And we are definitely lucky to have them as part of our Toy drive Family.
NEW SPONSOR UPDATE!!!
Last night while the boys were having their music lessons (Alex on guitar and Christopher on drums) Josh at Scarboro Music told me that they'd not only be donating a voucher for our gift baskets, but that they'll be setting up a pre-show drop box to help us collect toys. These people are awesome. Thanks so much to Josh, Sydney, Frank, and all the folks over at Scarboro Music.
An incredibly huge thank you to Rebecca over at Laser Quest for providing us with so many passes again this year. Over the years I have chased down so many companies that'll tell me to contact them at a later date, then when you follow up they'll be too busy to answer or return your call. Thankfully there are people like Rebecca in the world. If I call her on a Monday, she'll tell me to drop by the very next day and will have our donations ready with her patented lovely smile on her face. This lady is solid gold and always makes sure that we have more to offer the kids in need than just toys.
And “POOF” just like that... Our Toy Count climbs by 2000.
Thanks so much to Sgt. Splatters for always helping us to make sure that the teenagers are never forgotten.
We have two new confirmed superheroes to tell you about. The Invincible Iron Man and Krypton's favourite daughter Supergirl will be joining our incredible roster of cosplayers.
Just got confirmation that The Loot Lady is Back!!!
If you've ever heard me use the term "Christmas Angels", then I must have been talking about Carol & Bob Cusson from The Loot Lady. These two have been our longest running sponsor. They have been helping us help kids for fourteen years now. So many times I look upon what we here at The Uncle Neil & Friends Annual Toy Drive have accomplished together as a family and a community and am always drawn back to the fact that if it wasn't for people like Bob & Carol, this show would never have even gotten off the ground.
They don't just inspire me (which I'm sure you know they do in spades) but they have inspired many others along the way who have followed their example. Many have followed their lead with an "If they can donate, so can I" attitude.
It's without a doubt my favourite pick up of the year. Stopping in and hanging out with them (even if for only a half an hour) is like the inspirational shot to the arm that'll always see me through this event.
Thanks to these two wonderful people for always ensuring that not only the kids have a reason to smile, but that I do too. I love you both. - UN
We've been exceedingly fortunate over the past fifteen years to have some incredible pictures taken at our event. And just a quick trip to our website will attest to that. So I'm thrilled to announce that we have the incredibly talented Mike Skarvinko, Andrew Chin, Liz Sterner Pinel, and Jim Ziegler joining us again.
And the great news just keeps rolling in. There's nothing I like more than the feeling I get once things get off and running and the people who were involved in the past start contacting me to let me know that they're back on board again this year. You'd be surprised how frusterating it can be chasing people down. There are times when it can take several months of phone calls, emails, texts and missed connections before receiving a "we're back". Well, these past few days have really put a smile on my face. Welcome back Lorpon Labels and Canadian ToyCon.
A great big thank you to Derrick Noble from Noble Toyz for once again pledging to collect toys for the kids in need. This guy is all class.
I just received word that the incredible folks over at Beyond Kung Fu are going to help us collect toys for the kids in need again this year.
I'm so happy to announce that Carlos and the folks over at Gotham Central will be helping us to collect toys for the kids in need again this year.
SWEET TREATS UPDATE!!!
Our awesome "Cookie Lady" is back again this year.
Elizabeth and I were at Fanexpo this weekened and met up with two of our incredible cosplayers that have confirmed that they will be at this year's show. Thanks so much to Groot & That Joker Guy!
Our three amazing artists will be back again this year, drawing sketches from your favourite comics, cartoons etc. Thanks so much to Arnold, Michael, and Micheala.
Don't stress out about Spiderman (hopefully only temporaraly) leaving the MCU. Everyone's favourite wall crawler will be at our show again this year. And not only will Peter Parker's alter ego be there, but the Miles Morales version will be as well. Into the spider-verse indeed. We also have a brand new hero joining us for the first time. Captain America. And of course, the incomparable Wolverine.
Alex & Christopher were a huge help today with our pick up from Toys Toys Toys. Thanks so much to Mitchell. His donation ensures that a lot of children will have a happy holiday.
I'm happy to announce that the incredibly gifted Arnold Trinidad of Sketch Soldier fame will be donating his time and talent once again as he takes as many requests as possible in the 2 hours that our show runs.
Our number of pre-show drop box locations is growing as well. Every year there are more people with the same goal as ours. And that is to see that no child goes without at Christmas time.
We believe that regardless of gender, religious belief, or ethnic background, every child, should have a toy. We are now in our 15th year still trying to make sure we can help as many children as possible. We've gone from a few friends telling a few friends, to having filled the equivalent of the Sky Dome 5 times.
Thanks for stopping by. Keep checking back as there are all kinds of exciting new things going on this year.