Only a couple ‘Strings’ attached to Johnston Toys for Tots event


WANTED: Anyone who enjoys holiday gift-giving, merry music, fantastic food and drink specials.

If so, plan on going to Strings Bar and Grill located at 193 George Waterman Road in Johnston on Wednesday, Dec. 8, for the 11th Annual JFD Firefighters Local 1950’s Toys for Tots Collection Party.

“The cover band WITZEND will be playing a variety of high-energy music beginning at 7 o’clock,” said Jon Pistacchio, a JFD lieutenant who is also Local 1950’s vice president. “There may even be a special visit from Santa Claus.”

Likewise, Steph Harris — who owns and operates the restaurant and bar — will offer attendees a free complimentary buffet.

There is, though, a string or two attached with the free food offer.

“All we ask is that every person to bring and new, unwrapped toy and they can enjoy Steph’s always fine food,” Pistacchio mused. “She will also be offering drink specials during what promises to be a unique Harris Holiday Happening (like) she hosted before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.”

The goal on Monday night — as it has been in 11 previous Toys for tots Drives — will be to collect as many toys as Pistacchio said “we can fit into the backend of a reserved JFD rescue.”

Moreover, there is no limit as to the number of toys people can donate.

In previous years, for example, Johnston State Sen. Frank Lombardo and his wife Patty have been regulars at the Toys for Tots Drive and have been very generous givers with such super items as a boy’s and girls’ bicycle.

“Some people have even donated many different sized stuffed animals as well as sports equipment such as footballs, basketballs, baseballs and hockey sticks,” Pistacchio explained. “We are always thrilled — and extremely appreciative for the many generous gifts people have donated that have put smiles on the faces of children from needy families on Christmas morning.”

Once next Monday night’s party — and annual Toys for Tots Drive is complete — Local 1950 members will deliver all the donations to the United State Marine Corps Reserve personnel, who will make special deliveries to families in need before Christmas.

“We want to thanks those people who have supported this special event in year’s past,” said Keith Calci, Local 1950 President. “We also want to thank people in advance to Monday night for what we hope will be the biggest Toys for Tots collection we’ve ever had.”

And, as Local 1950 Secretary-Treasurer Dave Pingitore added: “”Even if you can’t attend the party, please consider bringing a toy or two to Strings Bar and Grill and help fill the rescue.”


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