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Toys for Tickets stuffs the stockings

Fifth year of program saw a decline in tickets, toys

By: Scott Hayes

  |  Posted: Saturday, Dec 14, 2013 06:00 am

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The city’s fifth annual Toys for Tickets campaign wrapped up last week with another successful haul of toys.

Anyone who received a parking ticket between November 15 and 30 was given the option to pay it off with a new toy instead valued at $25 or more. There were 53 tickets that were paid off in such a manner but there were 71 toys received.

“We had an additional 18 toys donated,” explained Garnet Melnyk, senior officer with the city’s Municipal Enforcement Services department.

He said that he could offer no definitive explanation for this, suggesting that it could have been because 18 people simply offered toys out of the blue or that it could have been the result of people paying off tickets with more than one toy.

This seems to mark a positive trend extending off of the single toy that was donated last year without a parking ticket to spark it.

The most expensive toy this year was just under $50 and the value of all of the toys received was $1,573.21. This is a lower amount than the program saw last year, when 95 toys (valued at $2,700) were turned in.

Melnyk commented that winter played a big part in this accounting.

“Weather!” he laughed. “We got hammered with snow there at the end of November. That obviously has a direct impact with the amount of people who are illegally parking. A lot of people just don’t go out when it’s like that. It was a shmozzle!”

Despite the downturn, the city will continue on with another round of Toys for Tickets in 2014.

“We’re 100 per cent satisfied. It’s an excellent program. We’re generating toys for underprivileged children so they have a toy underneath the tree on Christmas morning.”

The program started in 2009 as a way of boosting the intake of donations to the Fill-A-Bus campaign led by St. Albert Transit and Diversified Transportation. That campaign is then combined with the St. Albert Kinettes’ Christmas hamper campaign to offer toys and food to local families who are facing financial struggles.


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