34th Annual Toys Party Brings Together Thousands of Supporters for LGBT Aging


This year’s event raised more than $260,000 to benefit SAGE and collected over 5,000 toys for children in need.

[New York, NY] Over 2,000 attendees packed Chelsea Piers on December 8 for the 34th Annual Toys Party to mix and mingle and celebrate the holiday season, all while benefiting LGBT elders and children in need. CNN host and LGBT activist, Don Lemon, was on hand to receive the 34th Annual Toys Party Award.

“I’m pleased to present Don with the 34th Annual Toys Party Award for his commitment to our community,” said Toys Party founder Robby Browne. “Without Don, there would be no truth, and we sure appreciate all that you’ve done for us.”

Awardee Don Lemon declared, “Never did I ever think I would be standing here, getting an award from all of you. I never felt like I would fit into the gay community, I’m not the Ken doll that I saw in the clubs and was never really accepted – now here I am getting an award from all of you.” Continued Lemon, “This started 34 years ago in Robby’s apartment on the West side, with a handful of people and look at this room – every year he fills this room with thousands of people. We are here because of Robby. There are very few people in this world that I would walk through fire for, and Robby is one of them.”

Toys Party Co-Host David Tufts, CNN Host Don Lemon
and Toys Party founder Robby Browne

 

This year’s successful event raised more than $260,000 to benefit LGBT elders and collected over 5,000 toys for distribution to numerous LGBT-friendly children’s charities. For more than 30 years, the Toys Party, founded by Robby Browne and co-hosted by Chris Kann and David Tufts, has collected hundreds of thousands of toys for children and raised millions for SAGE.

SAGE CEO Michael Adams with Toys Party Co-Hosts Chris Kann,
David Tufts and Robby Browne and CNN Host Don Lemon

The event has become one of New York’s most recognized traditions, making a significant impact on the lives of LGBT older people and children in need during the holidays. All proceeds and ticket sales support SAGE’s work with and on behalf of LGBT older people across the country.

Toys from the event will be distributed to the following charities: 9th Police Precinct Community Center, Camp Felix, Ali Forney Center, Brooklyn ACE Integration Head Start, God’s Love We Deliver, Grace Baptist/Faith Mission, The Iris House, and UEW Jericho Project/Brick Church.

Pile of toys donated at the 34th Annual Toys Party

“This year’s Toys Party was one of the most memorable I’ve attended,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “I can’t think of a better way to cap off this monumental year of recognizing the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, than with this celebration for, and by, our community.” The creation of this event by Robby, during the AIDS crisis, and its continuation through the years is a testament to our community’s resilience.” Continued Adams, “Many thanks to Robby, Chris, and David for keeping this festive opportunity alive that benefits LGBT older people and children in need, year after year.”

For more photos from the event, visit sageusa.org/toys2019pics.

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SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States.

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