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Strathmore launches second annual Toys for Tickets campaign

The Town of Strathmore has launched its second annual Toys for Tickets program to take place over the majority of the Christmas season.

“Toy donations in lieu of parking tickets is a great way the town can be innovative and make a difference in our community. Last year, participants donated over $700 worth of toys to the Strathmore and Wheatland Christmas Hamper Society,” said Mark Pretzlaff, on behalf of Community and Protective Services.

Having kicked off Nov. 13, those who are issued municipal enforcement non-moving violations are able to, instead of paying the ticket to the town, donate a new, unwrapped toy of equal or greater value.

At the end of the campaign, any donated toys will be handed off to the Strathmore and Wheatland County Christmas Hamper Society so that they may be sent off to children in need.

“The Toys for Tickets program came in a couple of years ago and it was just an idea for a program – I think other places do it as well, and it is a program designed where, if you unfortunately get a ticket for something and you need to pay it … it is a way of paying a ticket, but it is a way of doing something really nice so that a child in the community can be looked after at Christmas time,” said Mayor Pat Fule. “We had some good results last year. In 2022, there were 22 total tickets that were given out during the campaign period; 14 people paid them normally and eight used the opportunity to buy a toy of equal value so that a child got something really nice at Christmas.”

According to Fule, the eight toys donated last year added to a value of $705.14, with an average ticket value of $88.14.

To donate, every person who receives a ticket between Nov. 13 and Dec. 11 can bring the toy, unwrapped in their original packaging with proof of purchase to the town municipal building.

Donations of multiple toys are also accepted, so long as the total value is equal to or greater than the penalty of the issued ticket.

“For those people who do not get a traffic ticket, they will also have an opportunity here at the Strathmore Municipal Building to still donate a new unwrapped toy,” added Fule. “There is going to be a Christmas tree in the lobby and we will make sure that those gifts are also donated to the Strathmore and Wheatland County Christmas Hamper Society.”

Fule added he also wished to thank those who decide to donate a toy, should they receive a parking ticket, and contribute to the program, as the effort will go a long way towards making a child’s Christmas much better.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times