December 31, 2012 at 7:43am
SHE'S AWESOME >>>
In the weeks before Christmas, Silvia Tapia gathered toys at the Varsity Grill. The downtown restaurant and sports bar was the home base for her toy drive. Each year, since 1999, Tapia rallies her community for this toy drive and then delivers gifts to children at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. It is for this reason that she is called Santa Silvia.
Monday, Dec. 24, Santa Silvia boarded her sleigh - well, really, it was more like a wagon since sleighs don't fit in hospitals - and headed to Mary Bridge.
"This year's event was fabulous," Tapia says. "There was an increase over last year collection. I don't know by how much exactly but we collected about 14 boxes full of toys, for differing ages. We delivered 6 of them to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and the rest of them went to Toys for Tots."
Santa Silvia teamed up with two long-time friends - Tom Loomis as Santa and Mike Combs - to deliver the gifts. First, the trio visited the ER and visited four families. Tapia says that's often all they can do.
"We were also able to go to the Outpatient Health Center there we saw about 10 families," she says. "Being able to see these little angels as Santa walks in their room, their eyes get so big and shiny, big smiles. For a second, it makes me feel I was able to take away their pain for them and their parents. If I could remove their pain or sickness permanently I would."
Toys that couldn't be delivered directly to kids this year were left at the hospital to be used for children's birthdays or other occasions.
While the donations were up this year, Tapia also received a pleasant surprise - the hospital not only invited her back again next year, but also invited her to help out with other major events and holidays at Mary Bridge.
Off duty rules.
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Looks delicious! Thank you Jackie for share ^^
Banff National Park is a breath of fresh air. A small mountain town with world class facilities...
Too many cover-bands play at The Swiss.
Wohoo! Love this and great work! From one Assyrian to another I congratulate you and am rooting...