What began in 1992 as a friendly competition between officials in Manhattan and Hermosa Beach to see which city could collect the most toys is now a favorite holiday tradition in the South Bay.
The Beach Cities Toy Drive, in its 26th year, gets help every year from big companies—such as Manhattan Beach-based Skechers—smaller businesses and residents. One man donates 25-35 bicycles each year and another gives sports equipment and helmets.
The massive, grassroots undertaking culminates each season with a wrapping party, which happened Saturday morning, Dec. 26. Volunteers come in the morning armed with paper, scissors, tape and bows. They wrapped, ate a donated lunch, wrapped some more. When the last gift was festooned, they went home to their families.
The wrapping party rotates each year between cities. This year's event was held at the Josyln Center in Manhattan Beach.