Toy Foundation’s Dallas Events Raise More Than $850,000 to Deliver Play to Children in Need
September 27, 2022 | Last week, the toy industry gathered in Dallas to celebrate the top toys and games of the year just ahead of the holiday season. Kicking off the week with the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, The Toy Foundation (TTF)’s events highlighted the creativity and philanthropy of the toy industry while raising more than $850,000 in cash and product donations to help TTF deliver the benefits of play to children in need.
“Our mission is to be the uniting force for the collective philanthropy of our industry and to watch the industry unite in support of our work is deeply gratifying,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “We are thankful for everyone’s generosity. This is only the beginning and with the industry’s continued support we hope to bring comfort, joy, and the extraordinary benefits of play to many more children each year.”
The long-treasured Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards profiled TTF’s key programs – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) program, Children’s Hospital Play Grants, and The Toy Bank – alongside the event’s presenting sponsors, Jazwares, Mattel, and Amazon, respectively. An estimated 700 attendees heard first-hand the impact of TTF’s work that has delivered the power of play to thousands of children around the world. TTF’s local nonprofit partners, Baylor Scott and White McLane Children’s Medical Center, Dallas Metro, Rainbow Days, and The Birthday Party Project, also took part in the celebration with some of the children who will be positively impacted from the funds raised and toys donated at the event.
In addition to TTF’s programs, the TOTY Awards announced the top toys and games across 17 categories of play. All event proceeds benefitted TTF, making every company and individual who submitted a nomination, attended the awards, or made an onsite donation a vital supporter.
TTF continued to engage the industry with its inaugural DEI programming which featured a full day of sessions led by Target, Paramount, and Jazwares. Preview & Holiday Market attendees sat alongside students from The University of North Texas at Dallas to discuss opportunities to grow the toy industry with diversity, equity, and inclusion at its center. More than a dozen students were also able to meet with recruiters from Hasbro and Jazwares to explore career paths in the toy industry.
To cap off the week, TTF’s Toy Bank collected more than $250,000 in toys and games generously donated from nearly 100 Preview & Holiday Market exhibitors. All items will help positively impact more than 20,000 children in need throughout the Dallas area, gifting them the latest and greatest toys on store shelves just in time for the holidays.
“The Birthday Party Project is incredibly grateful to be a beneficiary of the Toy Bank,” said Tabatha Gonzalez-Olaechea, senior vice president of development of The Birthday Project. “We thank all Preview & Holiday Market exhibitors for your generous donations. It is because of you, that we are able to gift new toys to children experiencing homelessness across Dallas/Fort Worth, as well as nationwide, and ensure we are reaching as many children as possible to make them feel seen, celebrated, and held in community."
TTF thanks all of its event sponsors for its support: Amazon, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Crayola, Dallas Market Center, GES, Jazwares, Just Play, The LEGO Group, Mattel, Melissa & Doug, MGA Entertainment, Moose Toys, Nightglass Media, Paramount, Radio Flyer, Schylling, Spin Master, The Toy Association Board of Directors, The Toy Foundation Board of Trustees, tonies, Toy’n Around, Toysmith, and VTech.
The next TOTY Awards will take place September 29, 2023, kicking off Toy Fair in New York City from September 30 to October 3.