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West End Toy Drive Serves 350 Families

Children from across the city descended on Samuel Tucker Elementary School on Dec. 18 to select new toys and books as part of the annual toy drive sponsored by Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue. Founded by Del Ray resident and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Willie Bailey, the organization has been collecting toys for families in need for more than two decades. According to The Connection Newspapers, "Volunteers in the community have supported the event for more than two decades, including Mindy Lyle, who became involved with the toy drive as the director of the West End’s Adopt-a-Family program. “I found out what Willie was doing about five years ago,” said Lyle, who began as coordinator of the West End’s Adopt-a-Family program in 2010. “I told him that we have to do this in the West End. This area has been so neglected for so many years." As per The Connection Newspapers, "Sponsors include John Taylor of Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota; Bruce Witucki and Union Street Public House; Trae Lamond and Chadwick’s Restaurant; Capital Youth empowerment Program; Sam Chamberlain of Five Guys; Brendan Kelly of Kelly’s Irish Times Restaurant; InspireLit; Energesco Solutions LLC; Marine Corps Toys for Tots; Departmental Progressive Club; Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority; Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue; Caring Angels Therapy Dogs; and Samuel Tucker Elementary School staff."

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