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Chefy's Toys for Tots this weekend

PLATTSBURGH - For the last eight years, Chris "Chefy" Duquette has been partying for a good cause.

This Saturday, Dec. 18, Duquette will host his annual Chefy's Toys for Tots Benefit Party at Geoffrey's Pub, 5453 Peru St., with admission being one unwrapped toy for a $5 donation to benefit the Christmas Bureau's Toys for Tots.

"It started out as a house party and it just got to be too much," said Duquette.

Three years ago, Duquette decided to have the party at Geoffrey's Pub instead of his own home.

He also began working with Plattsburgh Distributing, who provides large stockings that are brought to local businesses for them to collect toys as well.

"Last year, we were at 20 locations," said Duquette. "Mostly, we were in local bars and restaurants. But, this year, we're at 36."

Nearly 8,000 toys were collected last year, but this year Duquette is aiming for 10,000.

"We would never have thought in a million years how many donations we would get, from all the small mom and pop places," he said. "Like The Fourth Ward, The Store Tavern."

This year, Duquette explained they also added corporations into the collection, such as Schluter Systems and Mold-Rite Plastics.

Duquette, along with his cohorts - Rodney Provost, who is now retired from Plattsburgh Distributing, and Judge Tom Douglas - will spend all day this Friday, Dec. 17, collecting toys from these businesses.

Then, the next day, will be the party, with even more toys added to the collection.

"[People] bring bags and boxes full," said Duquette. "Some people bring one, some people bring 20."

The party will begin at 7 p.m., with C.R. Tunes and Photography deejaying from 8 p.m. to midnight. Party-goers can also have their photo taken with Santa Claus and his naughty elves for the cost of a second toy or a cash donation.

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