Toys For Make A Child Smile Does The Trick

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Eagle Scout candidate Will Simone (center) displays some of the toys he collected for the Make a Child Smile Toy & Food Drive. He is with organizers Detective Anthony Guzzello and Chamber of Commerce Co-President Mitch Schwartz. (Photo by Debbie Greco Cohen)

For the 18th holiday season, members of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce joined with police detective Anthony Guzzello to collect toys for children and food for those in need in Port Washington. The program is called “Make A Child Smile.” Twenty-seven Chamber of Commerce member businesses offered to be drop-off locations for the toys and donations.

“The response from the community has been overwhelming. Over 500 toys plus food and monetary donations were collected to brighten the holidays for the less fortunate children in Port Washington,” said Guzzello, who created this program 26 years ago with the Port Washington Police Benevolent Association and the Port Washington Fire Department. Local residents and the Port Washington Yacht Club asked guests bring toys to their holiday parties and Sousa School collected a truckload of toys to donate to the cause. This year the effort was supported by Eagle Scout candidate Will Simone, who collected toys from generous members of Troop 71.

Chamber co-president Mitch Schwartz said he was very proud of the support given to the toy and food drive by Port’s businesses and residents. Some local storeowners took toys off their shelves to add to the donations brought in by Port residents. Schwartz pledged the participation of the chamber again next year, saying every child deserves some special happiness during the holidays.

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Elizabeth Johnson is editor of Manhasset Press and Port Washington News, special features including the Business Quarterly column, Manhasset Magazine, Pride In Port, Port Washington News, Port Gift Guide and other special sections. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community newspaper" several years in a row.

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