Amped up

Strings Bar and Grill seeking to boost donations to JFD, JPD toy drive

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Strings Bar and Grill, which is located at 233 George Waterman Road in Johnston, will look to turn its fundraising efforts up to 11 this Saturday at 7 p.m.

Owner Stephanie Harris is hoping to help Johnston Firefighters Local 1950 and Johnston Police Officers Local 307 set an all-time record for the highly acclaimed Toys for Tots program, which is conducted annually by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

The goal – as it has been for the past eight years – is to fill the back end of a Johnston Fire Department rescue vehicle with toys, games, bicycles and sports equipment.

“This is our ninth annual Toys for Tots Drive,” said Jon Pistacchio, vice president of Local 1950. “It’s the same as always; our goal is to fill the back of a reserve rescue with toys.”

This year’s venue, though, is different, and as Pistacchio and members of Local 1950 wanted it known: “Stephanie Harris is excited about hosting our toy drive for the first time.”

For starters, Harris is bringing in Keturah’s Dream, a local band that plays an upbeat selection of music from everyone’s favorite artists and has – in addition to serving as the event host – agreed to put out a complimentary buffet for those people who show up with at least one unwrapped toy.

“It should be a great night for a great cause,” Pistacchio went on. “There’s plenty of parking for those people who have attended this event in year’s past, the Toys for Tots Party has always an extremely successful event mainly due to the tremendous outpour of support from the community.”

Keith Calci, president of Local 1950, added: “This is the first year we’re introducing live music to go along with a complimentary buffet, and we’re thrilled that Stephanie is excited about hosting an important event that will help make Christmas merry for children from needy families.”

Meanwhile, Michael Andreozzi, a Johnston Police patrolman who serves as president of Local 307, added: “We’re all hoping that Johnston’s reputation for unmatched generosity when it comes to helping children who are less fortunate than others really shines Saturday.”

Members of the Marine Corps Reserve will also be on hand to accept any and all toy donations, and as Pistacchio said earlier this week: “Even if you can’t come to the party, please consider just stopping by Strings Bar and Grill and donating one new unwrapped toy. By doing so, you’ll help children of all ages have Christmas.”

Calci and Andreozzi then concluded by saying: “We want to thank Stephanie in advance for rolling out the red carpet for us. She’s even going to have drink specials all night, and rumor has it she has even arranged for Santa Claus to make a special visit.”

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