Over 2,400 attendees filled Chelsea Piers on December 10 for the 38th Annual Toys Party to celebrate the holiday season while benefiting LGBTQ+ elders and children in need.
Hosted by Chris Kann, David Tufts and Cris Dovich, this year’s Toys Party featured specialty cocktails and a festive dance floor with music provided by DJ Johnny Dynell. Event attendees donated a record breaking $420K to support the work of SAGE, along with thousands of toys to help local children have a wonderful holiday season.
“For 38 years, the Toys Party has been a wonderful tradition of New York City’s LGBTQ+ community, ringing in the holidays while making an enormous difference for both our elders and kids in need,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams.
The Toys Party is also an opportunity to honor the memory and legacy of the event’s founder Robby Browne. Since its start during the early days of the AIDS crisis, the event has created an affirming space for LGBTQ+ people and has brought community members of all ages together to celebrate the past year while helping spread holiday cheer to those in need.
“We’re thrilled by the outpouring of love and generosity this year, which would have made Toys founder Robbie Browne so proud. We can’t wait to do it again next year,” Adams said.
Chris Kann spoke to the power of having a holiday ritual like the Toys Party. “Robby would have been thrilled by the success of this year’s party,” Kann said. “The fact that this has remained a staple in the community shows us that he accomplished what he intended to create: a place where we could give back, get together, and celebrate the holidays and each other.”]
All proceeds and ticket sales support SAGE’s work with and on behalf of LGBTQ+ older people across the country. The donated toys from the event are distributed to the following charities: 9th Police Precinct Community Center, Camp Felix, Ali Forney Center, Brooklyn ACE Integration Head Start, Grace Baptist/Faith Mission, The Iris House and UEW Jericho Project/Brick Church. The 2023 Toys Party Host Committee includes Bandar Alturkmani, Mylik Ganey, Scott Malone, Brent Miller, Josue Santiago, and Joey Wasserman.