PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Halloween is this weekend and Christmas is only 57 days away.
And toy drive focused on ensuring every child wakes up to a gift under the tree is already underway. This year the Bay County Sheriff’s Office will team up with American Muscle Car Club in Bay County to host a toy collection ahead of the annual Project 25 shopping day.
The public is invited to the Sonic in Callaway on Saturday, November 7th from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. And they are asked to bring unwrapped new toys or monetary donations while touring the classic cars.
Sheriff’s Office retiree Becky Johns is still heading up Project 25.
“Guidance counselors will come to the sheriff’s office when we let them know we are going to be shopping the first Tuesday in December at the Lynn Haven Walmart when we compile our list and then Santa Claus will drop them off at the sheriff’s office for guidance counselors to pick up,” she said.
The annual event began more than 40 years ago.
“In 1980, while responding to the burglary of a home, Deputies Tommy Doss and Jesse Clark saw a family in desperate need, with nothing for Christmas. The deputies returned to the sheriff’s office and collected money to meet that need,” according to BCSO. “In 1986, Sheriff LaVelle Pitts held a contest to officially name the charity. The annual “project” leading up to the 25th of December, now had a name; Project 25.”
Traditionally the sheriff’s office has delivered the toys but this year they are partnering with Bay District Schools to ensure more kids can be reached.