The Muscle Beach Venice Fourth Annual Toy Drive for the upcoming holidays kicked off earlier this month and will continue through Sunday, Dec. 12.

The toy drive, sponsored by Joe Wheatley Productions and Bodybuilding.com in conjunction with the city of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific division, is dedicated to providing new toys to needy children in the Venice area. Toys will be distributed by LAPD Pacific division.

“In this time of economic struggle, the toy drive is a great demonstration and opportunity for the gift of giving,” event promoter Joe Wheatley said.

This year, seven new drop-off locations have been added in the community.

Community members are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy to Venice establishments including Danny’s Deli, Canal Club, James’ Beach, The Sidewalk Café, and Townhouse Restaurant, and receive a promotional incentive. In addition, Gold’s Gym and Venice Beach Care Center will be accepting toy donations.

The six-week toy drive will end the weekend of Dec. 11 and 12 at the Venice Beach Recreation Center, 1800 Ocean Front Walk. On Saturday, Dec. 11 a booth will be set up to take the last rush of toys.

The last day to drop off toys for the drive is Sunday, Dec. 12, when Christmas musical entertainment will be provided by “Flight 2 Dalite” starting at 1 p.m. Santa Claus will be on hand at 4 p.m. in his sled provided by the LAPD to meet and greet the children.

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