(This content created in partnership with Kapco.Kapco brings back its Kids2Kids Toy Drive for 2023 with a Celebration of Giving event on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 3 until 7 p.m. at the Kacmarcik Center for Human Performance, 885 Badger Circle, in Grafton.
In addition to kicking off the seasonal toy drive for the holidays, the event will include performances by local school choirs and bands; amazing displays of toys, train set, and Christmas decorations; a tribute to Ozaukee County first responders (around 4:15 p.m.); grilled hot dogs and snacks from The Salvation Army; freshly baked cookies; bonfire s’mores; craft stations and Letters to Santa; live animals; and hay wagon rides.
The toy drive has already gotten started around the area and you can drop off new and unwrapped toys during business hours at Kapco, 1000 Badger Circle, or Kacmarcik Center, 885 Badger Circle, in Grafton, or during business hours at any participating locations.
You can find participating locations throughout the Milwaukee area on this map.
Ozaukee County schools, including Grafton, Homestead, Port Washington and Cedarburg, are also hosting school-wide toy collection efforts in conjunction with members of the Kapco Student Leadership Council.
“We started the Kapco Kids2Kids Toy Drive with one core mission in mind: To give kids – really of any age – the exposure of what it feels like and what it means to give back and support people in their community,” says Jim Kacmarcik, Chairman and CEO of Kacmarcik Enterprises.
“If you look at Kapco’s Kids2Kids Toy Drive, we have a core leadership team of High School students from around Ozaukee County – Grafton, Cedarburg, Port Washington and Homestead, to name a few – that really serve as the core leaders for this initiative.”
To volunteer to participate, visit kids2kidstoydrive.com and click the “volunteer” tab at the top of the page. There’s also more information about the drive at that link.
Kacmarcik says that over the years, the Kapco toy drives have collected nearly a half-million toys that have been donated to many thousands of families.
“At Kapco, and Kacmarcik Enterprises, which is the parent company of our portfolio of businesses, we aim to positively impact the lives of at least one million people in our community every year, and this is just one of the ways that we aim to do that,” he says.
“Then you look at the impact on our young leaders who are involved. They work on this all year-round. This isn’t just a quick ramp-up, get some bins out and that’s it.
These kids are working with businesses to get support, working with their administrators in their school, setting up events, doing media, spreading the word, and demonstrating for their peers what servant leadership looks like.
“Really, at the end of the day, that’s what this is about ... developing our next generation of servant leaders who are driven and compelled to give back to our great community and make Milwaukee a better place to live, work and raise a family.”
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.