Folks invited to stuff cops’ Tahoe with toys

Oxford Village Police Chief Mike Solwold, a close personal friend of Santa Claus, is hoping to see his agency’s Chevy Tahoe overflowing with toys on Saturday. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio.
Oxford Village Police Chief Mike Solwold, a close personal friend of Santa Claus, is hoping to see his agency’s Chevy Tahoe overflowing with toys on Saturday. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio.

Police vehicles are usually stuffed with two things, cops and criminals.

But Oxford Village Police Chief Mike Solwold wants to see his department’s Chevy Tahoe filled with something else – toys.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, the Tahoe will be parked along Washington St. (M-24) in front of Centennial Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Folks are invited to pack the SUV with donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.

Since 1947, the program that has been collecting and distributing toys to less fortunate children at Christmas. To date, it has provided 548 million toys to 251 million children.

“I thought it was kind of a neat idea,” said Solwold, who noted the local toy drive is a partnership between his agency and the Oxford Chamber of Commerce. “Anything for the kids. As soon as you mention kids and toys, I’m all for it. I’m a kid at heart myself.”

All donated toys must be new and not gift-wrapped.

“It doesn’t have to be anything real expensive,” Solwold said. “Anything helps.”

Solwold hopes people will be generous and lend a helping hand to all the families who “need a little extra boost this year.”

“It would be nice to fill that whole thing up,” he said. “If we run out of room, if we’ve got to bring another car out, so be it. We’ll do it.”

To help the cause, downtown’s Funky Monkey Toys, located at 5. N. Washington St., will be making a donation that day and offering a 20 percent discount to customers purchasing toys to stuff inside the Tahoe.

“That was cool that a local business jumped on board,” Solwold said.

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