ONEONTA – Tony and Vinne Avanzato were not going to let COVID get in the way of spreading Christmas joy to 30 elementary school children in need of winter coats, boots and toys.
“I am not going to take Christmas away from the children,” said Tony. “Especially this year!”
The Avanzatos began the “Children’s Christmas Shopping Fund” in 1999, with Sister Angeline of St. Mary’s School. With the generous donations of many local businesses and friends annually, approximately 30 school children are selected from the three elementary schools: Valleyview, Greater Plains and Riverside.
“I feel that this is an investment in our community for all of us,” said Tony. “I feel that if we can help even a few, and teach them to pay it forward, it will enrich us all.”
As a result of COVID, this year, the implementing of this event was more complicated. School counselors; Sarah Herger, Kate Hoffman, and Athena Leverrock, along with Antonio Avanzato and some of Santa’s helpers, shopped from the children “wish lists”.
The children get new coats, boots, accessories and clothing, plus a toy of their choice. The gifts will then be distributed to the children over the next few days.
Donations to the Children’s Christmas Shopping Fund may be made to Antonio Avanzato, 528 Gifford Hill Road,Oneonta, NY 13820