The heartwarming history of the Annual John and Elizabeth’s Toy Drive began 22 years ago. Dr. Elizabeth King and her late husband, John Weaver, initiated this beautiful tradition by inviting their friends and family to join them in bringing toys for children in need. It all started on a small scale, with just a few hundred toys which the couple personally distributed. In 2007, the couple relocated to Fort Lauderdale Beach, and their generous neighbors at Las Olas Beach Club eagerly pitched in, resulting in the annual collection of thousands of toys. The toy drive became renowned, especially for John’s enchanting “It Takes a Village” Christmas Village and the incredible number of children the toy drive impacted, capturing the attention and admiration of the community. John’s role as President of the Central Beach Alliance (CBA) for six years greatly contributed to raising awareness for the toy drive’s mission and impact. Fast forward to 2011, where something truly extraordinary took place. The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort offered to host and sponsor the inaugural community-wide John and Elizabeth Toy Drive and Fundraiser. The event showcased John’s enchanting Christmas village in the lobby of the hotel and, impressively, collected over 5,000 toys that year.
In 2012, Dr. King, in collaboration with Yvonne Haase, founded Suits, Stilettos, and Lipstick Foundation (SSL), which wholeheartedly embraced the Toy Drive as one of its core programs. The Annual John and Elizabeth’s Toy Drive has become a holiday tradition in Broward County.
To date, this initiative has brought hope and joy to the lives of more than 76,000 children in our local community. Sadly we lost John in 2018, Dr. King, through SSL, alongside the CBA, and the supportive community, continues to honor his legacy through the Annual John and Elizabeth’s Toy Drive, ensuring that the spirit of giving and love persists year after year.
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