Results tagged ‘ Toys for Kids ’

Toys for Kids Shopping Spree

Jay and Leah Buhner turn up every year for the Toys for Kids shopping spree.

Jay and Leah Buhner turn up every year for the Toys for Kids shopping spree.

Rick Rizzs, Jay Buhner and volunteers from 18 Seattle area social service agencies and charities gathered before sunrise at the Toys R Us in Bellevue Tuesday to spend $250,000 on gifts to brighten the holidays for children across the region.

Toys for Kids started as a good idea over 17 years ago when Rizzs, Buhner, Dave Henderson and several other former Mariners players passed the hat to help needy families. Today, that act of goodwill has grown into a non-profit organization that provides holiday cheer to more than 6,000 children each year.

Volunteers from Atlantic Street Center turned out in force to shop for 1,500 children.

Volunteers from Atlantic Street Center turned out in force to shop for 1,500 children.

Various fundraising efforts over the year culminate in a shopping spree at Toys R Us. Volunteers from organizations such as Atlantic Street Center, Broadview Women’s Shelter, Harborview Medical Center, Union Gospel Mission Family Services, and Vision House swarm the store beginning at 6am, lists in hand, to buy gifts for kids who might not otherwise receive one.

Maria Ochoa-Meyers, who was shopping for Communities in Schools of Renton, was looking for art supplies and Barbies. Although the ghoulish Monster High dolls are increasingly popular, “girls still like Barbie,” she said.

A team from Atlantic Street Center turned out in red Mariners T-shirts to fill the wish lists of 1,500 kids. By 6:45am, they had already filled to overflowing 23 shopping carts, with more to go.

Rick Rizzs fuels up with coffee and a donut before the annual Toys for Kids shopping spree.

Rick Rizzs fuels up with coffee and a donut before the annual Toys for Kids shopping spree.

Next Thursday and Saturday Santa Moose, Rick Rizzs, and some surprise guests will start delivering the gifts at parties at Seattle Ronald McDonald House and Harborview Medical Center.

It’s not too late to help out. You can make a tax deductible donation online at RicksToysForKids.org, or you can find out how to give some or all of the proceeds from your sales on ebay to help the cause.

Toys for Kids Dinner Auction Raises More Than $200,000

Rick Rizzs and Al “Moose” Clausen at the 13th Annual Toys for Kids Dinenr and Auction.

Rick Rizzs and Al “Moose” Clausen at the 13th Annual Toys for Kids Dinner & Auction.

The 13th annual Toys for Kids Dinner and Auction was held on Saturday at the Harbor Club in Bellevue, and raised over $200,000 to help homeless and disadvantaged kids this Christmas.

The annual event is hosted by Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs and former player Dave Henderson, with the help of the Mariners RBI Club.

Auction items, including several Mariners items, helped raise over $200,000 for charity.

Auction items, including several Mariners items, helped raise over $200,000 for charity.

Several former Mariners players were in attendance to help raise money, including Bill Krueger, Dan Wilson and John Olerud. Current Mariners outfielder Raul Ibañez also took part in the event and there was a surprise appearance from Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch.

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and Toys for Kids host Rick RIzzs.

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and Toys for Kids host Rick RIzzs.

The Seattle Mariners RBI Club awarded Eric and Kate Wedge the Al “Moose” Clausen Community Service Award, an annual award given during our dinner and auction to a past or present member of the Mariners organization who has made a significant contribution to the community.

Eric and Kate Wedge received the Al “Moose” Clausen Community Service Award.

Eric and Kate Wedge received the Al “Moose” Clausen Community Service Award.

With all the money raised, Rizzs and an entourage of  shoppers start clearing shelves at local toy stores beginning December 4. We’ll have an update on this blog after the first few shopping events. Thanks for all the helped raise money for a wonderful charity!

Photos courtesy of Rick Takagi Photography

Power Shopping for Kids

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Bright and early this morning (well, early, anyway), Rick Rizzs, Jay Buhner and his family and a team of volunteers converged on Toys R Us in Bellevue to spend over $173,000 on gifts to help brighten the holidays for children and needy families across the Puget Sound.

The shopping spree started at 6am, before the store opened to the public. Volunteers fanned out across the store for two hours, piling shopping carts full of games and puzzles and dolls and toys of all manner.

Toys For Kids was started over 16 years ago by Rick Rizzs and Dave Henderson to buy toys and gifts for children in the greater Seattle area that might not otherwise receive them. In 2000, the Mariners RBI Club got involved, hosting the annual Toys For Kids Auction, which was held on November 17 in Bellevue. Since 1995, Toys For Kids has raised about $1 million.

The toys will be distributed in several events at various participating organizations. The first is Saturday, December 8, at Yesler Community Center.

A total of 17 organizations will participate in Toys For Kids this holiday season including The Country Doctor community clinic, Atlantic Street Center, Ronald McDonald House Seattle, Hopelink, Seattle Children’s Home, Harborview Medical Center, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Vision House, Broadview Women’s Shelter, YWCA Seattle EmergencyHousing, Union Gospel Mission Family Services, First Avenue Service Center, Family and Adult Service Center, First Place School.

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