The Victor Elks Lodge No. 367 and the Wildwood Casino have formed a partnership to provide toys, gifts and food for 60 households this year.
Many of the families live within the Cripple Creek-Victor School District and face unemployment or reduced hours due to the restrictions of the coronavirus, particularly in the casinos.
Donna Brazill has coordinated the Christmas Basket project for decades, but this year she broadened the scope with the addition of Wildwood Casino. The basket project is funded by the Elks and community donations.
“The Lodge works closely with City Market in Woodland Park to utilize donated funds to procure hams, turkeys, shelf goods, potatoes and eggs for each delivery,” Brazill said. “Guests are encouraged to bring in an unwrapped new toy and help fill the stockings for the Elks’ project.”
In addition to the Elks and the casino, Pam Brady, a Woodland Park resident, collects toys and blankets throughout the year to supplement the toy collections, Brazill said.
While the Elks’ project is part of tradition in southern Teller County, in the year of COVID, the coordinator has had to adjust. “This year has been the most challenging as we try to work within guidelines, different locations, and collection and distribution challenges,” Brazill said. “Our volunteers have been spectacular with adjusting and doing anything they can to make this go smoothly.”
Donations for the project can be mailed to: BPOE No. 367, PO BOX 181, Victor, CO 80860; ATTN: Christmas Fund.