A local business owner held a holiday toy drive earlier this month to benefit a children’s hospital as well as a non-profit organization for kids.
Michael Poli, owner of tanning salon Electric Paradise located at 3221 Westchester Avenue, organized and orchestrated a toy drive fundraiser for the first two weeks of December to donate toys and winter accessories to needy children.
In total, Poli and Electric Paradise raised money to donate a total of 8,000 toys in just two weeks this holiday season – 2,000 more toys than last year’s fundraiser generated.
The toys were donated to the kids of the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley as well as children patients at the nearby Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.
The collection of toys, which included board games, Legos, art materials, Barbie dolls, toy helicopters, toy dinosaurs and more items.
Clothing was also donated to the children’s hospital including onesies, hats, gloves and blankets to keep kids warm and comfortable during the cold winter months.
This was the third year that Electric Paradise held a toy drive fundraiser. In total, Poli and Electric Paradise raised over $4,000 for this year’s drive, surpassing their original goal of obtaining $3,000 for the fundraiser.
The $4,106 donated from various local businesses translated into the 8,000 toys that were donated to the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.
In the two previous years, the toys from the fundraisers were donated to the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. Electric Paradise also collaborated on toy drive initiatives with Conti’s Pastry Shoppe in the past.
“We love to help the community and we love to help kids – and what better time to do that than during the holidays,” said Poli, who was raised in Country Club and attended Our Lady of Assumption School in Pelham Bay. “The purpose of this fundraiser is to give something back to less fortunate children who are in need.”
He also said that the birth of his now three-year old daughter was another reason his business started organizing toy giveaways.
“This is a special endeavor that I hope will greatly benefit these kids – and I hope to be involved in this fundraiser for as long as I can,” Poli added.
Michael also specifically thanked Tiffany Massagli, Chris Daniello and Dom Ciccone from flooring store Exquisite Tile for playing such an important role in helping with the toy drive.
Poli has been the owner of Electric Paradise since 2006. He also owns another Electric Paradise location in Carmel, NY.
The Pelham Bay location celebrated its 10-year milestone in 2016 with an anniversary sale, an event that also included free food and an Electric Paradise t-shirt giveaway.