WILMINGTON — It might have looked like a rock concert, but Saturday’s L Shape Lot show at the Brooklyn Arts Center was actually the start of Christmas for many children in need.
The Wilmington-based band’s fifth annual Toys For Tots show garnered 1,570 toys, 10 bicycles and $1,200 for the charity run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve that has a goal of providing toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy gifts for Christmas. That is according to Eric Miller, a founding member of the band and an on-air talent for Port City Daily’s sister radio station The Penguin 98.3 FM.
“To be honest, I’m kind of blown away right now,” Miller said. “It’s pretty amazing. The most toys we have ever had in the past was just under 700. We more than doubled it.”
Saturday’s successful toy drive relied on many, Miller said. Attendees, who numbered just under 600, were asked to bring toys. Some, Miller noted, came with bigger donations than they could carry.
“We have a handful of major donations come in while we were doing our sound checks,” he said. “One company had collected for three weeks and they came in with just bags and bags of toys.”
Miller said a major monetary donation from an anonymous person week’s ago started this year’s drive off. With that money, the band was able to purchase 120 toys.
In addition, the band received monetary donations to help cover the cost of the show. Financial sponsors included The Property Shop, Hourglass Studios and three of Miller’s personal friends.
And then there were the concert attendees. They brought not only toys, but an atmosphere Miller described as “a lot of love in that room.”
“We couldn’t have done it without each and every one of the people who showed up Saturday night,” Miller said. “A lot of people helped out. We started with modest beginnings five years ago (100 toys and two bicycles), and we’ve grown to more than 1,500 toys. I’m a little overwhelmed right now.”