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TOY 2009 Raises Money for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia HIV/AIDS Wing


Photo courtesy of Scott Drake, PGNTOY has officially arrived. In only it’s third year, the soiree has grown massively in both size and scope. This year the event, a fundraiser for the DVLF (Delaware Valley Legacy Fund) and the HIV/AIDS unit of CHOP in Philadelphia, has proudly surpassed expectations in a variety of ways.  

So what is TOY and how does it work?! TOY, started in 2007, was essentially an event created so that children affected with HIV/AIDS would be able to embrace the holiday season a bit more. The participants essentially purchase a ticket to the party, which includes open bar as well as food and music entertainment. Everyone is also encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy, which is set aside and given the to kids affected by HIV/AIDS at the Children’s of Hospital of Philadelphia

This little event that could has quickly blossomed into a large charity extravaganza, not to mention one of the hottest parties of the holiday season. Expectations were surpassed this year in spades. TOY 2009 raked in an impressive $24,000 with over 900 toys donated. Attendance was up by 35% (500+), indicating that the word is indeed spreading fast. Costs were cut by an astounding half, a note worthy of mention considering how polished and elegant the festivities were from the marketing right down to the decorations. 

“What a joyous toyous event for all!  It seems all enjoyed themselves with the delicious food and unique drink mixes available,” said TOY participant, composer Joseph Hallman. The true focus, of course, being the kids to whom the toys and money will be donated. What a wonderful feat: to share joy with the simple act of donating a toy.” 

Toy donation this year was up an astounding 65%, and the sponsorship increased over 200% from last year’s party. The aura of good will and holiday cheer is indeed in the air. 

“The event benefitted the Pediatric HIV/AIDS practice at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) as well as DVLF’s mission to raise the permanent endowment for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex  (LGBTI) and Straight Allied Communities, said TOY co-chair Joseph Matthews with Matthews Interior Design. “Much gratitude goes out to over 115 sponsors (up from 35 in 2008) the TOY committee and all volunteers that helped create this magical evening.” 

For those who think those numbers are impressive, the best may be yet to come. The DVLF is currently looking into big things for next year, including a very large after party venue to accommodate the growing interest. There is also talk of involving the Comcast Center as a potential venue; the media conglomerate being one of the many high profile sponsors of TOY. 

“If you thought this year was a fabulous event just wait, we are planning a bigger, bolder and more beautiful event in 2010,” said Matthews. 

Most importantly, however, TOY is a celebration that’s essentially about giving, and proves that every one person can make a difference in regards to a great cause. With everyone’s combined efforts, the event set records for TOY and DVLF across the board.  The Delaware Valley Legacy Fund already has big plans for Toy 2010, and if this year’s success is any indication, it could just be the definitive social and fundraising event to beat come next Christmas.


Photo by Scott Drake, PGN