The staff of XS and Tryst Nightclubs gathered this morning for their eighth annual donation to 98.5 KLUC Morning Zoo’s toy drive. This year’s $190,698 in toys is the largest donation from a single group to a toy drive anywhere in the country. Today’s contribution broke the clubs’ previous record, which is raised through tips and personal contributions from the staff throughout the year, benefiting HELP of Southern Nevada.
At 10 a.m. this morning, more than 200 staff filled the aisles of Wal-Mart. Along with their children and families, nightclub employees overloaded carts with something for every kid, including Barbie dolls, board games, Hot Wheels and basketballs. Staff made multiple trips between the toy department and checkout with carts piled high. In addition to toys, every single bike available in Wal-Mart, adding up to 250 in total, was purchased for the drive. Following the shopping spree, store shelves were left empty as the staff posed for a photo with the carts spelling out XS in the parking lot, although this was just a small fraction of the total give.
As the staff packed into their cars, six semi-trucks led the way to the donation site where Chet Buchanan, host of KLUC’s Morning Zoo radio program and the team at HELP of Southern Nevada eagerly awaited. The semis, which were escorted by several police cars, created a mini traffic jam in the process as passersby stopped to get out of their vehicles and peek at the amazement of the donation. Once onsite, the traditional receipt unveiling stretched from the top of the platform down through the parking lot.
The executives from the nightclubs including Managing Partner Jesse Waits, Senior Executive Director of VIP Services John Wood, Executive Director of Nightlife Marketing Ronn Nicolli, and Executive Director of Nightlife Operations Yannick Mugnier did the honors of closing the 12th truck for the toy drive in total, six of which were a direct contribution from the XS and Tryst staff.
The toy drive, in its 15th year, is organized by Chet Buchanan, host of 98.5 KLUC’s Chet Buchanan & The Morning Zoo, where he lives atop a 30-foot high scaffolding 24 hours a day for 12 straight days raising awareness about the less fortunate kids & families in our community. All toys donated go to HELP of Southern Nevada in their mission to “assist individual and families to become self sufficient through direct services training and referral.” Last year’s donation from the nightclubs totaled $172,000 in toys, making the total donation to date now more than $700,000 over eight years.