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Desperately Seeking Santas

Black Fire Service Professionals to host annual toy drive.

Members of the Black Fire Service Professionals gather for a group photo prior to distributing toys at the 2011 annual holiday toy party.

Members of the Black Fire Service Professionals gather for a group photo prior to distributing toys at the 2011 annual holiday toy party. Photo by Jeanne Theismann.

The Black Fire Service Professionals of Alexandria are looking for donations from community partners in preparation for its 12th annual holiday toy party for underprivileged and at-risk children.

An employee organization within the city, the BFSPA provides gifts for more than 150 children and relies on donations to make the yearly drive successful.

“I know the need that is out there. I went to a party like this as a kid when I was growing up and starting one of my own is my way of giving back to the community.”

Capt. Thurston McClain

“I know the need that is out there,” said Capt. Thurston McClain, founder of the annual toy party. “I went to a party like this as a kid when I was growing up and starting one of my own is my way of giving back to the community.”

The BFSPA hosts an annual holiday party where children enjoy lunch, games and a visit with Santa. This year's party will take place Dec. 22 at the Hilton Mark Center.

New unwrapped toys, new bicycles, retail gift cards and cash donations are welcomed. Donations by check can be made payable to “BFSPA.” Donations can be sent to Capt. Thurston McClain at Station 204, 900 Second St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Contact Capt. McClain at 703-746-5204 or Thurston.Mcclain@alexandriava.gov to make arrangements to have a donation picked up.