Grenada Association hosts grand toy giveaway

By Lincoln DePradine

Volunteers and organizations commit themselves to serving the Black and Caribbean community year-round, with an extra effort expended at Christmas.

Santa Claus with the children

The Christmas season brings with it numerous gatherings of people to eat, drink and exchange gifts, with some activities specially organized for senior citizens and children.

A Christmas event for children has been part of the annual calendar of activities of the Grenada Association in Toronto (GAT) ever since its founding in the 1960s by Grenadian-Canadians such as former federal cabinet minister Jean Augustine. GAT is the longest-serving Grenadian community group in the City of Toronto.

Last Saturday, GAT continued the tradition of its founders by bringing Donald Mendez, who played the role of Santa Claus, to the Church of the Nativity in Malvern to present Christmas toys to children. The toy giveaway was part of a “Christmas Bazaar’’ hosted by GAT.

Santa Claus at the Christmas party

“There were free toys for children 12 years and under,’’ said GAT president Unison Joseph. “We usually asked for a registering of children ahead of the event, giving us their name, age and gender; and we had 55 kids registering this year to receive toys.’’

Immediately after the holidays, said Joseph, GAT will continue with preparations to observe next year’s 50th anniversary of Grenada’s independence.

GAT will be holding an independence gala on Saturday, February 10, at Parkview Manor in North York, he disclosed.