Skip to content

Annual toy drive in memory of Richmond’s “Secret Santa” returns

Victor Ghirra is once again being remembered for his dedication to help children in poverty

The annual Victor Ghirra Toy Drive event is once again accepting toy donations in east Richmond next week.

Everyone is invited to bring in new and unwrapped toys at the Riverside Grand Ballroom parking lot, 1231 Burdette St., from noon to 3 p.m. on Dec. 11.

Over the past 14 years, the toy drive has collected and donated more than 42,650 toys to various local organizations to help children in poverty.

Harvey Kooner, organizer for the toy drive, told the Richmond News that they are hoping to help 15 charities to commemorate the event’s 15th year.

“We’re definitely looking to help more charities this year, and the event being in its 15th year, we’re stepping up more,” said Kooner.

“We thought it’d be appropriate and a way to commemorate Victor and help people…given that this has been a tough year with the pandemic and the B.C. floods.”

There will be a quick treat and photo booth stop for those who make a donation on the day of the event.

The toy drive started in 2007, when Ghirra passed away suddenly, leaving behind his wife and four young sons.

It was after Ghirra’s passing, that his family knew he had been quietly buying thousands of dollars’ worth of toys for Children’s Hospital during the winter holidays.

 “It turned out that Victor had been making trips to the hospital for over a dozen years.  He was purely being himself, and never told anyone what he was up to.

“When I heard this, it touched me, and I wanted to find a way to honour the man with a golden heart.”

Ghirra was dubbed Richmond’s “Secret Santa,” as he always remained anonymous when making the donations.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks