Third annual Exeter Toy Drive holds fundraiser this weekend at newly opened Rock Yard Tavern

@TheSunGazette

EXETER – For most adults, Christmas elicits fond memories of waking early to find brightly wrapped presents beneath a sparkling tree. But not every child gets to experience the joy of Christmas.

No one knows that better than Chris Gray. Gray’s childhood memories of Christmas morning were finding a hot meal and a warm place to eat it. Understanding the plight of children living in poverty, Gray has spent his adult life trying to make sure children never have to feel the way he did on Christmas.

Shortly after moving to Exeter in 2015, Gray said he felt a calling to do something for children whose families may be struggling to make ends meet and decided on a toy drive.

“Giving these kids a gift is like giving them a way to fit in and be like every other kid,” Gray said. “That feeling of normalcy just might change their future.”

This is the third year that Gray has organized the Exeter Toy Drive and this weekend is the perfect opportunity for anyone interested in helping. On Saturday, Nov. 18, from 4 to 8 p.m. is a fundraiser at the newly opened Rock Yard Tavern,  located at 132 N. E St. in Exeter. Gray is asking community members to donate new, unwrapped gifts. There will also be a raffle for prizes during the event and food will be available from El Taco Man for $10 per meal.

The drive has already sponsored 71 children through business and individual donations, but there are many more children seeking a much needed dose of holiday cheer. Sponsorships are $75 and include the cost of a toy and other materials for the family.

To find out more information about the Exeter Toy Drive, visit their Facebook page, or call Chris Gray at 559-936-6136.

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