WAUSAU (Wis.) – The Toys for Tots program isn’t over quite yet.
The Grand Theater’s 5th annual “A Very Joe.e Christmas – The Return of the Broken Toy Show” collected even more toys on Wednesday night.
The benefit concert gathers thousands of toys for children in Marathon and surrounding counties.
Local musician Joe Ellis produces the holiday show, along with other professional musicians from all over Wisconsin.
Ellis says the concert is incredibly special to him.
“What we’re trying to do is give families hope and give them reassurance that there are people out there who are thinking of them and pulling for them,” Ellis said. “We’re hoping they see better days and that’s really what hits home for us. That’s what it’s all about.”
Before the concert, the Great Hall hosted holiday activities including cookie decorating, crafting and live music. Santa Claus even made an appearance to take some photos.
To attend the show, people had to donate a new, unwrapped toy, along with 10 dollars for a ticket.
Last year, the concert collected around 2,000 toys. Organizers say they hope to raise even more this year.