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ALTON - For a few hours on Friday night, Hit-N-Run owner Dwight Fowler and Riverbender Community Center volunteers will get to play Santa Claus as they distribute $25,000 worth of toys to area children.

The $25,000 Toy Giveaway will follow the tree lighting at the Lincoln-Douglas Square and will run from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday. When the toys arrived recently at the Community Center, Fowler and Riverbender Community Center CEO John Hentrich unloaded the large truck with big smiles on their faces. The same sense of happiness was true for the others who volunteered to unload the truck, knowing what kind of impact the toys would make this Christmas for those who need them.

“It means a lot to help out the kids,” Fowler said. “We do the best we can throughout the year to help them. We enjoy it a lot. We have a little bit of everything and a wide variety with our toys for Friday night’s giveaway.”

Fowler has been a long-time supporter of Hentrich and the Riverbender Community Center.

“When Christmas comes around, Hit-and-Run always does something like this,” he said. “We have increased it for this year.”

With many families coming through the COVID-19 Pandemic, Fowler said he knows this year is great and he and Hit-N-Run wanted to do their part to make the children’s Christmas brighter.

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Fowler said he is excited to see the Community Center up and going again with the COVID-19 Pandemic improving. “I am really impressed with what the Community Center does for kids,” he said.

Hit-N-Run owner said he encouraged everyone to bring their children and have a fun night Friday evening at the Community Center.

Fowler also pointed out Santa And Mrs. Claus will be present for photographs with children.

Hentrich said he was so thankful to Dwight and Hit-N-Run for the sponsorship of the toy giveaway.

The Community Center CEO said the Holiday Open House has something for everyone with holiday-themed crafts, a Balloon POP, games, a bake sale, hot cocoa, holiday music, and more.

There is no admission charge to the Community Center Open House.

Hentrich had a comment that will resonate through the entire giveaway for him, Fowler, and the volunteers: "It is better to give than receive and it will sure feel good giving out so many toys to children Friday night. The smiles on their faces will be priceless."

'Tis the Season to Shop Small and Save! Shop Small Saturday, November 27th.