26,000 Toys Collected at 2009 Pan Pacific Christmas Wish Breakfast

santaPhoto: oxan@

The Pan Pacific hotel lobby was a scene of festive chaos this morning as an estimated 7,000 people took part in the annual Pan Pacific Christmas Wish Breakfast. Now in its 22nd year, the event brought in 26,000 toys (30% more than last year) and over $25,000 cash for the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau.

“The Pan Pacific Christmas Wish Breakfast is all about giving to those in need and sharing in the festive spirit of Christmas”, said Tim Tindle, Pan Pacific Vancouver’s General Manager. “I am thrilled and amazed to see such an incredible amount of toys being donated over three short hours. This is my first year here, so today has been an eye opener. I’m very proud of the community spirit this event inspires”.

As guests sat down to a complimentary hot buffet breakfast, courtesy of the hotel, they enjoyed the ambience and entertainment of the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir, Classical Nouveaux, visits from Santa and the bagpipe-led procession of Chief Jim Chu and the Vancouver Police Department. 100 breakfasts were taken to the Union Gospel Mission following today’s event.

By the time the last breakfast was served at 9am, the massive pile of toys in the hotel lobby could barely be contained. Chris Bayliss, Executive Director of the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau said, “I think I sound like a broken record, because each year we seem to out-do the previous one. Today our trucks carried away so many toys we couldn’t fit them all in the warehouse”! Adding, “We’re very grateful to our host, the Pan Pacific Hotel, and our media sponsors, Jack FM and Global TV, plus the many volunteers and organizations that make it all happen.”

The Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau collects toys for children and gifts for teenagers year round, but the need is greatest at Christmas. Donations can be dropped off at the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau at 1370 Napier Street in Vancouver, or check out www.lmcb.ca for more drop off locations.