City donates to toy drive; more donations to come from Heroes Bowl

October 28, 2014

Hyattsville police officers and firefighters regroup during the 2013 Heroes’ Bowl, which netted gifts and other donations for the Sonny Frazier Toy Drive. Photo courtesy Mike Persley.

BY GRANT WHITTINGTON — On October 20, the Hyattsville City Council voted to donate $500 directly to the Sonny Frazier Toy Drive and up to $1,000 more depending on the funds raised at the Hyattsville Heroes Bowl. Since the Heroes Bowl’s inception four years ago, the Council has matched dollar for dollar up to $1,000 for the money earned by the Toy Drive at the event.

The Heroes Bowl, a football game between the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD) and the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD), is scheduled for 3 p.m. November 8 at Magruder Park. HCPD is coming off their first ever win with HVFD owning the head-to-head record 2-1.

Councilmember Paula Perry (Ward 4) said she enjoyed last year’s battle because she finally got to see the police department hoist the trophy.

“Last year our Police Department finally won and it was a good feeling to walk away and smile at the Fire Department,” Perry said.

Fourth Annual Hyattsville Heroes Bowl – Saturday November 8 at 3 p.m.
Magruder Park – 3911 Hamilton Street

Admission: Bring a new unwrapped toy or cash donation to benefit community children who otherwise would not receive gifts this holiday season

Note: Please bring your own seating

Questions: aa@ahvfd.com, hyattsvillefop@gmail.com, Ruth Ann Frazier at 301.779.5428

The Sonny Frazier Toy Drive started more than 13 years ago with the goal to give underprivileged kids presents for Christmas. The Toy Drive has grown each year since it’s start. Last year, drive leader Ruth Ann Frazier estimated that they raised $4,500 and distributed gifts to 260 children. The Toy Drive hosts a holiday party each year where every kid leaves with five gifts that their parents picked out for them from a collection of unwrapped presents purchased by the drive volunteers.

Along with getting gifts at the Christmas party, the children can get their face painted, sit on Santa’s lap and enjoy a nice meal. Although the volunteers give primarily during the holiday season, Frazier said they are available all year long and are constantly receiving donations.

“We call it a toy drive, but it’s really a drive for the kids,” Frazier said. “We are available all year and we do what we can. We really do.”

The Sonny Frazier Toy Drive, named after Ruth Ann’s late husband, runs because of the support from the community, she said. Other local toy drives, including one the police department hosts, sends extra gifts and donations to the drive. Frazier has a group of women who volunteers with her as well as students from DeMatha Catholic High School and Northwestern High School.

“It’s a community effort to make the drive possible,” according to Frazier. “It’s a lot of work, but for the ladies who help me, they deserve a medal.”

Frazier said it’s not about keeping her husband, Sonny’s, name in the community but keeping his dream alive. She said Sonny was “in his glory” around the holiday season and Christmas was his favorite time of the year.

“It was just an evening of fun, laughter, joy and wonderment and he just loved it. It was just keeping his dream in the community,” Frazier said.