The Pirate Toy Fund is celebrating a successful toy drive this holiday season after community members donated 21,980 toys at strategic sites across Monroe County. The goal was to collect 20,000 new, unwrapped toys in six days.
Many donors were inspired to give this year after the report of the theft of at least 200 toys from the Eastview Mall collection box. Ontario County Sheriff’s deputies tracked down the perpetrators through surveillance video and photographs taken by mall walkers. They were interviewed in Toronto, Canada, and reportedly indicated they thought the toys were free for the taking.
The toys received from donors will be distributed throughout the year to more than 75 agencies that help disadvantaged children and youth programs in the Rochester region. The charity was started by Gary the Happy Pirate in 1994 to provide hospitalized children with toys. Over the past 25 years, the nonprofit has grown to assist many other organizations like the American Red Cross, Compeer, Monroe County Child Protectives, Gigi’s Playhouse and others.
Financial donations are still being accepted through the Pirate Toy Fund website. Visit for information.