The 17 Mile Liquor Shoppe is hosting its annual toy drive and is repeating the revamped format introduced last year due to the pandemic.
Lisa McDonald, the store owner, started the event when she saw the Sooke District Lioness Club needed donations for a toy drive and says that demand for toys and donations has only grown during the 12 years she’s been doing the event, especially during the pandemic.
“We’ve just had a hard couple of years, and the demand has been a lot higher,” she said.
The toy drive usually involves residents donating toys, with the store also collecting prizes from different sponsors for a raffle. Last year that changed due to the pandemic, with the liquor store instead hosting a $100-a-plate dinner at the 17 Mile Pub House. The 2020 fundraising goal was $10,000, and the dinner met that goal, so McDonald said they decided to continue with it.
This year the goal is $12,000 and four trucks filled with toys for low-income families.
“We have people asking us in September when the toy drive is starting,” she said. “The word has got around, and our community is just fantastic for stuff like this. You ask, and you shall receive.”
Prizes and donations are collected until Dec. 20 and distributed by the Sooke Harbour Lions and Sooke District Lioness Club.