Smardz Sponsors 'Christmas In July'

September 27, 2013 Updated Jun 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Smardz Sponsors 'Christmas In July'

September 27, 2013 Updated Jun 9, 2011 at 5:30 PM EDT

Blasdell, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- New York State Assemblyman Kevin Smardz on Thursday kicked-off his annual “Christmas in July” toy drive with a ceremony at Women and Children’s Hospital.

Smardz announced that the event will run from through July 21st, concluding with a holiday party and a visit from Santa Claus and other special guests at Children’s Hospital.

“I am so excited to work with the kind people of my district to help bring smiles to the young patients at Women and Children’s Hospital,” said Smardz. “It can be very tough on children and teens when they are in the hospital. Anything we can do to make their surroundings more like home, and allow them to just be kids, will make their time healing and receiving treatment a little easier.”

Smardz said supporters may drop off new, unwrapped toys at his district office located at 3812 South Park Avenue in Blasdell.

Additionally, donations may be dropped off at the Comfort Zone Cafe in Hamburg, the Zider Zee Restaurant in Holland, A.W. Dye Inc. in Boston, the Concord Town Clerk’s Office, the Evans Town Hall and the Mahoney State Office Building in Buffalo.

“We are so grateful to Assemblyman Kevin Smardz for spearheading this special event,” said Tara Young a Child Life Specialist at the hospital. “These wonderful gifts donated by our generous community will help our patients keep their spirits up and thereby help them with the healing process here at Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo.”

In addition, Assemblyman Smardz encourages local organizations, businesses and churches to also collect for the event.

“This is a community-wide effort,” said Smardz. “These toys will not only be distributed to the hospital’s current patients, but will also be given throughout the year to children who undergo surgeries and other medical procedures.”