Hearts were warm on Saturday morning as the community gathered outside Lansdowne Centre to support the Richmond Christmas Fund.
Richmondites arrived with toys and donations for Richmond RCMP’s eighth annual toy drive and enjoyed mini donuts while checking out booths by local organizations and businesses on Nov. 19.
The dunk tank also made a triumphant return, with Richmond RCMP Officer-in-Charge Chief Supt. Dave Chauhan and Richmond South-Centre MLA Henry Yao stepping up to the plank.
Chauhan, who was getting dunked for the first time ever, said he was "a little nervous but also very excited" about this "unique experience."
"This is such a great event for such a great cause to help the children and families during this holiday season, and I'm just so happy to be here," he said. Chauhan was plunged into the freezing tank amidst cheers as Mayor Malcolm Brodie hit the bullseye with one try.
MP Wilson Miao and community members also made a valiant effort to dunk Yao, who took back-to-back plunges to the crowd's delight.
@richmond_news Richmond RCMP toy drive for the Richmond Christmas Fund was held at Lansdowne Centre on Saturday. #richmondbc #richmondchristmasfund ♬ All I Want for Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
There were plenty of photo opportunities as well with RCMP and Herbaland bear mascots. And Santa also made an appearance, arriving from the North Pole on Coca-Cola's giant red truck.
The toy drive was the Coca-Cola tour's first stop, and the local bottler had "jumped on the opportunity" to take part in the event.
"We have two facilities here in Richmond, both manufacturing and warehouse... And being a local bottler and a family-owned business, we want to be in front of the community and deliver optimism," said Justin Emerson, general manager for Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Ltd.
"It's all about the community spirit and that holiday spirit and we're very grateful to be a part of (the event)."