CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Happy Slapowitz Toy Drive gathered $20,800 in toys and cash for the Toys for Tots program. This is up from $18,000 last year, according to organizer Ryan Eftink.
Music, BBQ, Toys, and Bands. Organizers say Happy Slapowitz in downtown Cape Girardeau was an event all about giving back and giving the public a chance to have a good time doing it.
"It really started as a grass roots effort and now it's in the 12th year. It's our 11th in downtown Cape," said Ryan Eftink, organizer.
Between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Smokin Brothers BBQ rotated between different venues as bands continued to play on at eight locations. It happened Thursday, Dec. 12. The food and the music lasted throughout the night.
"The fun goes on long past 8 o'clock,' said Eftink.
According to Eftink, last year they raised over $18,000. It takes a new unwrapped toy or a $10 donation to get in all night.
"We will start cooking Thursday morning," said Eftink. "After 8 o'clock people can still come out and bring donations. At that time all the food moves to Lodo's where The Intention, a local band will be playing."
Meanwhile, other bands continued to play at their locations for the rest of the night.
The toys and money benefit the program Toys for Tots, run by the United States Marines.
"This year we hope to raise a lot of money and collect a lot of toys to make a lot of families happy," said Eftink.
"It will actually benefit 2000 children in our local communities right here," said Richard Bollwerk of the Marine Corps Coordinator for Toys for Tots. "What this group does makes up a huge portion of what we are able to collect and provide. They bring in bikes and all kinds of wonderful toys.
Toys were delivered to the Marines Friday.
"It's always amazing to see how much is collected," said Bollwerk.
For more information about the Happy Slapowitz Toy Drive online: