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CCPD’s ‘Fill the Boat’ begins today

By Staff | Dec 14, 2017

While member of the Cape Coral Police Department are helping children buy presents for their families in the “Shop with a Cop” event, residents can do their part to help less fortunate families by filling up a boat located outside of the Super Walmart on Del Prado Boulevard.

That, along with several other toy drives, are happening throughout the city this week, with area businesses doing their part as well.

Today and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., people can drop by with a new unwrapped toy and place it in the boat, with the goal of, obviously, filling it.

This is the 11th year for “Fill the Boat,” according to Philip Mullen of the CCPD and, in the past, the event has brought in about 2,000 toys, enough to overflow the boat.

“There isn’t really a thermometer number to hit, but people are always wonderful. They load that thing up and that’s great,” Mullen said. “This time of year is the best. We get to do all the feel good events and it’s nice to see.”

There will be officers at the boat to meet with the public as they drop off their toys

“Fill the Boat” also serves to help those who were not picked to be in the “Shop with a Cop” program. Those who don’t make it are asked to go to the boat and pick up something so they don’t go empty-handed, Mullen said.

Around three dozen children are expected to be at the Wal-Mart Saturday morning to go shopping with members of the CCPD.

“I always shake my head at how amazing the community does. Like the food drive we just had, I had to check the number it was so big,” Mullen said. “It’s amazing what people do.”

The Cape Coral Fire Department has been doing its job in collecting toys as they have been accepting new, unwrapped toys at each of their 10 fire stations for the last several weeks. The toy drive, for all kids between newborn and 17, ends today.

These toys will be given to children in Cape Coral who have special needs, suffer from chronic illnesses such as cancer, are in foster care or have families struggling with financial issues, according to their Facebook page.

Last year’s drive netted more than 4,000 toys for 1,000 children in state care, or have families struggling with financial difficulties.

Collection boxes for the toy drive are located at each of the 10 fire stations throughout Cape Coral:

* Station 1 4610 Coronado Parkway

* Station 2 701 Nicholas Parkway

* Station 3 1627 Everest Parkway

* Station 4 2007 Santa Barbara Boulevard

* Station 5 1029 Diplomat Parkway

* Station 6 4540 Chiquita Parkway

* Station 7 3942 Burnt Store Road N

* Station 8 707 SW 1st Street

* Station 9 4107 Pelican Boulevard

Meanwhile, the business community is also getting involved in the gift-giving thing.

Rack’em, Spirits & Times, at 1011 S.E. 47th Terrace, will hold a Grateful Dead-themed Toys for Tots drive on Saturday starting at 8 p.m.

“A Very Jerry Christmas” will feature the Tom Marcellis Band, A Grateful Dead cover band, the Salvation Army will be there, as will Jenni B. of All Smiles Entertainment.

“We do karaoke there on Tuesday and they are always up to do community events and help a good cause,” Jenni said. “Thy have a great stage and sound system and they’re always on the ball.”

There will be prizes given away, such as swag donated by the beer companies, a weekend trip to Fort Myers Beach, weekend passes for Funk Fest in Punta Gorda and more.

So, get in your tie dye shirts, cram into that VW microbus and head on over, organizers said.