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Jamfest Toy Drive at Long Branch Tavern to help children for Christmas

By KATE THURSTON - kthurston@newsexaminer.com

LAUREL — To help children in the community, the Long Branch Tavern will be hosting its Jamfest Toy Drive Saturday.

“If you like live music, the Long Branch Tavern is the place to be for our annual Jamfest Toy Drive,” Long Branch owner Bev Harrison said. “Every year several talented musicians come together to donate their time and talents to help raise money for Christmas gifts for our local children. David Moore is donating a free hog roast again this year for all of our customers.”

The event begins at 6 p.m. with music starting at 7 p.m.

“We had so many bands offer to play this year for free, we had to turn them away, there will be a lot of great musicians,” Gail Bryant, one of the organizers, said. “We auction items throughout the night and have some nice gift baskets.”

The event costs $5, which includes free music, dinner and a chance to give back to the community.

“Last year we raised $4,453 during Jamfest at The Long Branch and were able to buy gifts for around 100 kids,” Bryant said.

According to Bryant, each year varies. Some years they have 60-80 kids, some years 100.

“Each child receives two toys, a treat bag and food.

Those who need help with Christmas may contact Gale Bryant, who will be taking phone sign-ups from 4-10 p.m. through Nov. 12 at 765-698-2271.

The Christmas Party for the kids who have signed up, complete with Santa, elves and personal gifts, will be at noon Saturday, Dec. 8, in the Laurel Community Center cafeteria. Kids ages newborn through 12 years of age who live in the Laurel school district may sign up to attend.