CHAMPLAIN - With the layoffs happening at Pfizer Inc. and other businesses in the Northern Tier, Ellen Goyette expects it to be a tough Christmas for many children this year.
To help them out and make sure they receive presents this year, Goyette is collecting gifts for Toys for Kids.
Goyette, who is the co-owner of Bowl-Mart Lanes, will have a special concert with local band The Four Fathers, Saturday, Dec. 11, from 4 p.m. to midnight.
"It was something that we had talked about with the band, that we wanted to do a fundraiser around the holidays," Goyette explained. "They played on Halloween and we got to talking about it and I said 'Why don't we do a [Toys for Kid] thing, that way the children in the North Country benefit from it?'"
Although The Four Fathers don't typically play around the holidays, they made an exception for the fundraiser.
"They said, 'We want to guarantee that we are going to sell 200 tickets and get 200-plus toys, so let's do it ourselves," Goyette recalled of her conversation with the band. "It's a win-win for everyone. They are a very generous group that often does things to help people out. I didn't have to twist their arm at all."
Tickets to the concert can be received at Bowl-Mart Lanes now through Sunday, Dec. 5, or until all 200 tickets are given out. To receive a ticket, simply bring a new, unwrapped toy to the lanes. It must be worth $5 or more.
"It was something that I saw with the Channel 5 News and how successful they were with it and how they had reached out and touched so many," said Goyette. "I thought, it's hard for some of the people in Champlain, Mooers, Rouses Point, to get down to Plattsburgh to drop a gift off."
Goyette said she will bring all the gifts to the newstation herself.
"If anyone has toys that they would like to contribute and are not necessarily interested in a ticket for the evenings entertainment, I will gladly accept them and make sure they get down to NewsChannel 5," added Goyette.
One of the main reasons Goyette chose Toys for Kids to give assistance to, is because the gifts will stay in the area.
"We were told that if we bring them from New York State or Upstate New York, they will stay in Upstate New York," she explained. "That's what my main concern was, because I wanted to make sure they stay in the Northern Tier."
If interested in a ticket to the concert, toys can be brought to Bowl-Mart Lanes, 277 U.S. Route 11, through Dec. 5. They are open every day beginning at noon.
The concert is for ages 21 and older. For more information, contact Goyette at 297-6106.