Rocking for a cause
Hockey jerseys, dolls, and boxes of toys stand stacked to the proverbial ceiling of the Tsawwassen Legion as local musicians Jerry Doucette and Kenny Boychuk admire their handiwork.
The two organizers completed their fourth annual Deltassist Christmas toy drive charity music event on Dec. 1, and it was the most popular yet.
"I started doing a number figure but there was too much," said Boychuk of the estimated generosity of the community.
Aside from the toys they received from patrons, Boychuk said they received $1,100 in cash donations, which they promptly spent on more toys for needy children this Christmas.
The whole idea for a Christmas toy drive concert began four years ago when local teacher and friend "Guitar Marty" suggested that Doucette, who's been playing with Boychuk for three decades, do something nice for kids.
Doucette, originally from Montreal, is known for his 1977 single "Mama Let Him Play," which went platinum in Canada.
"We've been at this for 50 years and it's time to give back," said Doucette.
They started at the Rusty Anchor Pub in 2008 and it was so successful and grew so much each year that they decided to move it to the larger venue of the Tsawwassen Legion last year.
Based on attendance this year, they may need to move again.
Twelve local bands played for free and there was even a surprise appearance by the Delta Police Pipe Band, whom Boychuk introduced as Paul McCartney's back up band as they marched through the front door.
"This is going to make a lot of kids happy on Christmas morning," said Terry Nylander, of the Tsawwassen Legion.
"This was all for charity. Nobody made a cent on this. Not a penny," said Boychuk.
The toys were delivered to Deltassist, a non-profit social services organization that runs an annual toy depot program to provide Christmas presents to children from low-income households.