What began as a good idea by Senator Anthony Petruccelli has turned into something East Boston residents look forward to each Christmas Season and this year’s 8th Annual Eastie’s Elves Fundraiser is shaping up to be no different.
Over 500 supporters are expected to turn out for the event set for Friday, December 14 at the Logan Hilton from 7 p.m. to midnight.
The yearly event raises toys, clothes and money for low-income families in Eastie and the price of admission is one unwrapped toy that will be donated to a local non-profit.
The singing of Christmas Carols, a holiday meal of carved turkey with all the trimmings and the satisfaction of knowing you are helping hundreds of Eastie families this holiday is a treat for all the guests that attend.
“Last year we were able to raise over 700 toys for families and $2,500 that will be used to buy gift certificates at Shaw’s Supermarket so families at APAC, Crossroads Family Shelter and Project Bread won’t go hungry this Christmas Season,” said Petruccelli.
Each year the annual event has grown by leaps and bounds. This year it will reach more children and families. Because the event began when Petruccelli represented only Eastie as the neighborhood’s state representative, only Eastie non-profits like the East Boston Social Centers and YMCA benefited. Now that Petruccelli is a state senator the event benefits children and families throughout his district, which includes Eastie, Revere, Winthrop, the North End and parts of Cambridge.
“The event has build itself on its reputation and the fact it’s a good cause,” said Petruccelli. “Each year more and more residents attend and open up their hearts to kids many have never met.”
Petruccelli added that each year he’s more surprised at the quality of gifts that people bring.
“It’s not just a bunch of crayons and coloring books,” explained Petruccelli. “When you look at the gifts people bring you can tell they’ve put a lot of thought and effort into buying these gifts.”
Years past, items like bicycles, toy trucks, remote control cars and plenty of clothing item showed the generosity of Eastie residents as the holidays begin.
“It’s almost as if it’s become a contest of who can bring the best gift,” said Petruccelli. “People really get into the holiday spirit for this event and the kids really benefit from the generosity.”
In Eastie toys will be donated to kids attending the Social Centers daycare and after school programs, the YMCA, Crossroads and APAC.
People in the neighborhood have called Eastie’s Elves one of the kindest and most compassionate things Petruccelli has done since being elected to office but for the young senator, it’s just an opportunity to use his status as an elected official to help better the community.
“A few years back I decided I wanted do something more than just a political Christmas Party,” said Petruccelli. “Then I attended a Toys for Tots fundraiser and thought I could do the same type of event for the kids in East Boston and now throughout my entire district.”
It was then the concept of Eastie’s Elves was created and showcased Eastie’s heart, spirit, and willingness to help those in need.