Big $25,000 Toys for Tots shopping spree held in Albany

ALBANY – Capital Region Toys for Tots organizers went on a $25,000 shopping spree on Tuesday. They cleared the shelves at the Crossgates Commons Walmart in Albany as they try to accommodate greater need this year.

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The 13th annual shopping spree started like a day at the races, with Santa-style jockeys guiding their faithful steeds – or shopping carts, around the store.

The money came from Dunkin’, who donated the money to Toys for Tots.

Vinny Roman has been coordinating the local Toys For Tots effort for 13 years now, and the Dunkin’ shopping spree has always been a big part of it.

"This is where we really start generating the buzz, and really start getting people into that holiday spirit and start shopping for the kids," said Roman.

The franchisees who fund the spree doubled as Santa’s helpers, grabbing as much stuff as they could.

"We absolutely enjoy it, we love it, and it’s just amazing that we can help them and get toys to these children that really need it," said Natasha Teixeira, a Dunkin’ franchisee.

She says while the shopping spree makes for an exciting couple of hours – the success of the Toys for Tots initiative is a much longer journey.

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Learn about how many kids across the state they’re trying to help, by watching the video of Jerry Gretzinger’s story.