One-day toy drive back for 5th year on Nov. 27 in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 November 2021 at 9:00 am

The 5th annual Parade of Lights Toy Drive will be Nov. 27, returning to the format for the first three years after last year’s Covid restrictions forced some changes.

The drive this year will be back at Canalside Tattoo at 540 Main St. from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. People who donate new unwrapped toys, clothing or at least $5 will be eligible to win local prize packages donated from businesses.

Last year there wasn’t a parade through the downtown. Instead there was a “reverse parade” at the Medina school campus. Andrew Szatkowski heads up the toy drive and he and his family and other supporters were able to collect $3,000 last year at the parade that was given to Community Action and the Medina Area Association of Churches. They used the money to purchase toys for local children and families.

Donations from the toy drive in the downtown usually fill seven or eight very large plastic bags with toys, plus about $1,000 is donated and given to buy other toys and food for families.

“It is that time of year again, and this year is going to be even bigger – first year back to a real parade and our 5th year doing the drive!” Szatkowski said.

He doesn’t children to go without a special present for Christmas. He appreciates the community donating toys and money for the effort, and for the many local businesses that offer prizes to help entice people to give on one of Medina’s busiest days of the year.

The annual Parade of Lights draws an estimated 8,000 people to Medina for the 6 p.m. parade. There are also many other activities during that day that have the downtown bustling.

Szatkowski said many local families are struggling more financially and emotionally this holiday season due to the impact of Covid.

For more information on the toy drive or to donate, contact Szatkowski at