Children of Bronx military families in need receives toys donated to annual toy drive

Santa and Mrs. Claus helped distribute toys to children

Photo Caption: Santa and Mrs. Claus with BP Ruben Diaz Jr., John Calvelli, National Guard members and veteran family children at the annual toy distribution

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(Credit: © WCS)

Bronx, NY – Dec. 17, 2016 – Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined Santa and Mrs. Claus at WCS’s (Wildlife Conservation Society) Bronx Zoo to distribute toys to 200 local, Bronx military families in need of support this holiday season.

This event has become an annual tradition in the Bronx. The partnership between the Bronx Zoo and the Borough President is in its eighth year. The Bronx Zoo serves as a collection point for new, unwrapped toys donated by members of the community for distribution to families of veterans and active duty members of the military.

As a holiday treat for those in attendance, Santa and Mrs. Claus were on hand for photo opportunities and to help give away the toys.

“We are honored to partner with Borough President Diaz on what has now become a holiday tradition. We are so fortunate to have these brave men and women serve our nation. It is our privileged to provide a bit of holiday cheer for their families,” said John F. Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President, Public Affairs.

“I am always thrilled to partner with the Wildlife Conservation Society on this amazing annual event. This is a great way we can give back to veterans and their families during the holidays,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, 5:30 p.m. weekends from April to October; 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m November to March. Adult admission is $19.95, children (3-12 years old) $12.95, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $17.95. Parking is $16 for cars and $20 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit or call 718-367-1010.

WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.