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Farmington police chief Brian Lindquist accepts a Toys for Town donation from Farmington High School students at a pep assembly Tuesday morning.

Supply is down, demand up for holiday toy drive

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If snow is the unofficial trigger for Minnesotans to register that Christmas is not far off, it's no wonder the 2009 Toys for Town drive got off to a late start.

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Actually, it could have something to do with the economy, or it could be a number of factors. All the same, Farmington police chief Brian Lindquist says the number of donations are down this year, but the number of kids who need help this holiday season is holding steady.

As of Monday, 90 families, representing approximately 240 kids, had been registered with Farmington's Toys for Town program. That's right on track with last year's numbers but more families could be added to the list by Saturday.

"We got a late start for donations," said Lindquist. "It's so typical of Minnesota. There has to be snow on the ground for us to realize the holiday season is here. Having just got (the snow), we're playing catch up."

Farmington High School students came through in their usual big fashion to donate $7,000 to this year's event. They presented Lindquist with a check for $6,000 and another $1,000 in gifts on Tuesday. Plus, there is a remaining balance in the fund from previous years. Still, he'd feel a little more comfortable with a few more donations.

Unwrapped presents and monetary donations are being accepted through the end of the week. Monetary donations may be made at Farmington City Hall or the police department.

"The community always comes through," Lindquist said "It's a tough economy, but we still have the need to take care of families."

Distribution

This year's wrapping and distribution will be in a new location, sort of. It's still at Farmington High School, only Farmington High School has relocated to 20655 Flagstaff Ave.

The festivities start at 9 a.m. this year, which is a little later than in years past. Volunteers will be treated to caroling by the FHS New Dimension choir from 9-10 a.m., followed by instrumental holiday music from 10-11 a.m. Tours of the new high school are also available.

Volunteers should enter the high school from the East parking lot doors. Wrapping will be held in the school commons area.

For more information, donation drop-off sites, or to add names of families or kids who are in need of assistance this year, contact the Farmington Police Department, 651-280-6700.

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