MARGATE – The Milton & Betty Katz Jewish Community Center, 501 N. Jerome Avenue in Margate, collected more than 5,300 toys for area children during its Boxx for Tots Toy Drive hosted by Personal Trainer Jon Simon from November 29 through December 22.
According to Simon, the 5,300 toys were distributed to area charities including Jewish Family Service, The Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) of Atlantic County, UNITE HERE Local 54, Brighton Pediatrics of Atlantic City, HOPE for Atlantic City, Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church of Atlantic City, St. James Blessed Sacrament Parish of Margate, New Jerusalem Baptist Church of Atlantic City, United Methodist Church of Somers Point, St. Vincent DePaul Church of Egg Harbor Township, directly to local families in need, and many other charities.
“I was so impressed with the support this year for the toy drive. Over the last ten years I have been organizing the event, each year it gains more support and I am touched each and every year,” Simon said. “It just means more smiles for kids who need them the most.”
On December 16, 18 and 19 Simon’s boxing class was held in the auditorium of the Katz JCC featuring live DJ Paul Laup of Atlantic City.
More than 160 boxing enthusiasts turned out over the three-day event, donating a toy as their class fee.
“It was an epic event. It will be even better next year,” Simon said. “I have to thank those who helped make it happen and the efforts of Johnny Dee, Tom Lacovera, Armand Mendelsohn, Michael Brestle, Miguel Ruiz, Nick Hagmaier, Greg Troast, Lou Puglisi, Rick Atlas, Tyler Imber who all held mitts and made it possible for 166 good-hearted boxers to donate toys for three amazing boxing classes. The energy was created by DJ Paul Luap and Amy Piccinino and Robert Piccinino dropped in for the final class to help with an intense ab workout. A special mention to Remy Pelosi, Antonietta Wood and Chevelle Jefferson of the Katz JCC who went above and beyond to help.”
“We wanted to support Jon’s efforts in collecting toys for area children and were happy to give him the necessary tools to do so,” Chief Operating Officer of the Katz JCC Marg Mancuso said. “Regardless of race, religion or national origin, the Katz JCC aims to reach the entire community in any way we can. We hope the toys Jon collected and distributed helped put a smile on many children’s faces.”
T-shirts for Boxx For Tots were provided by David Lieberman of All State Insurance and photography by Heather Jones.
For more information about the Katz JCC Fitness Facility, visit www.jccatlantic.org or call 609-822-1167.
The mission of the Milton & Betty Katz JCC of Atlantic County is to foster an appreciation of Jewish identity, values and culture, to promote health, education and welfare of our members, to strengthen Jewish family life, to build a sense of community and ensure Jewish continuity for our children, our children’s children and ourselves.