Dowagiac police, fire host Breakfast with Santa Toy Drive

Published 4:53 pm Monday, December 11, 2023

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac Police and Fire Departments are making an effort to ensure that this gift-giving holiday season is the most wonderful time of year for Cass County youth.

The fire department hosted its annual Toys For Tots Drive and Breakfast with Santa Saturday morning. From 8 a.m. to noon, firefighters collected donations of new or unwrapped toys for Cass County Toys for Tots and offered pancakes and sausage to community members.

True’s Towing and Richie Hutchinson each dropped off a truckload of toys and bicycles.

“It’s been a good day,” said Dowagiac Public Safety Department Administrative Assistant Michell Outlaw. “They’ve been busy on the grills all day. It’s nice to see people coming out to support the community.”

Cass County Toys For Tots Co-coordinator Danielle Antisdel was on hand for the event.

“We have an amazing support system with the [Dowagiac Fire Department] and the other fire departments in the area,” said Cass County Toys For Tots Co-coordinator Danielle Antisdel. “It’s not just dedicated to one location, it’s multiple locations, there’s family members, grandchildren, we have santa here and obviously what child does not like Santa. The economy is kind of in a rough stage right now and just with the overflow of the toys that we still see coming in, it’s going to be greatly appreciated. We’re just really happy with the community support that we have right now.”

The Toys For Tots campaign runs through Friday, Dec. 15, with toy distribution day being Saturday, Dec. 16. Antisdel thanked the greater Dowagiac community for its continued support.

“I feel everyone has busy lives,” Antisdel said. “So to see that people are taking the time out of their day, possibly away from their families, to do something for the good means a lot. We don’t realize how good we have it until we see other situations, so to help families in need or children that will have Christmas under the tree, at the end of the day that makes it worthwhile.”