Smardz Celebrates Christmas in July

July 25, 2011 Updated Jul 25, 2011 at 3:38 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Smardz Celebrates Christmas in July

July 25, 2011 Updated Jul 25, 2011 at 3:38 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- New York Assemblyman Kevin Smardz on Monday helped patients of the Women and Children’s Hospital celebrate Christmas early this year.

Despite the hot weather, Santa Claus and some of the Buffalo Jills elves joined the assemblyman to deliver the hundreds of toys donated to Smardz’s first annual “Christmas in July” toy drive.

“I’m so delighted that everyone got into the holiday spirit, even in the hot stretches of summer, to make the lives of some pretty amazing kids a little brighter,” said Smardz. “The generosity of people throughout Western New York has not gone unnoticed by the children, parents and staff of the Women and Children’s Hospital. I thank everyone for their participation.”

Smardz said that over the past month, residents, businesses, local sports teams, churches and organizations have been dropping off new and unwrapped toys to his office. Toys were given to each patient and will be distributed throughout the year.

"We are so grateful to Assemblyman Kevin Smardz for spearheading this special event. 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," said Tara Young, Child Life Specialist, Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

People throughout Erie County donated new and unwrapped toys for children of all ages to enjoy. Smardz called the toy drive a success and was thankful for the help from the community. The assemblyman explained that many toy drives run during the winter months, but very few take place for the children who may spend their summer in and out of the hospital, and that’s why he sponsored “Christmas in July.”

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