Over 500 toys, given by residents and staff of Cypress Cove at HealthPark Florida, were gifted Thursday to the Heights Center and Gladiolus Learning and Development Center for their annual toy drive. The gifting of the toys occurred during a brief ceremony on Cypress Cove’s life plan community.
The toy drive and gifting program has become an annual partnership event between Cypress Cove and The Heights Center/Gladiolus Learning and Development Center. Toys for more than 800 children, ranging in ages 3 to 15 years, have been collected by organizers for distribution this Saturday December 16 at the center’s “Operation Christmas Care.”
Tina Parsons, Executive Director of the Gladiolus Learning and Development Center and Heights Foundation President and CEO Kathryn Kelly were on hand Thursday to accept the toys and gifts from Cypress Cove. Gifts donated this year, explained Ms. Parsons, will most appreciated this year because of the damage and flooding that occurred within the community this past September due to Hurricane Irma.
According to Cypress Cove community advancement specialist Z. Allen Abbott, Cypress Cove residents and employees have donated several thousand toys during the community’s six-year toy drive affiliation.
Executive Director Michele Wasserlauf applauded the toy drive support from Cypress Cove residents and employees. “Members of our community are extremely generous,” she said, “and we are delighted to be part of a program that brings great joy to children of the Harlem Heights neighborhood.”
From left, Cypress Cove at HealthPark Florida Resident Services Director Mary Franklin, Executive Director Michele Wasserlauf, Gladiolus Learning and Development Center and Heights Foundation President and CEO Kathryn Kelly, Cypress Cove Resident Council President Perry Ahrens, Gladiolus Learning and Development Center and Heights Foundation Executive Director Tina Parsons, Director of Arts and Community Programs at the Center, Melissa Barlow and Cypress Cove Philanthropy Coordinator Allen Abbott display only a handful of the 524 toys and gifts presented to the Heights Foundation for their December 16 Operation Christmas Care event to help children in need within the Harlem Heights community. (Photo Supplied by Cypress Cove.)