The 26th annual toy drive to benefit Children’s Hospital is underway until Dec. 14.

Organizers Alex Fisher Jr. and Jack Dunphy are asking individuals, schools, businesses and religious organizations to donate new toys.

“Christmas is a wonderful time of year for everyone, but especially for children,” Fisher said. “Your new toys can help ease a child’s pain and hopefully distract them from the reality of having to spend Christmas in the hospital.”

The toys will be delivered to Children’s Hospital on Dec. 16.

Volunteers are needed to collect the donations as well as to help sort and box the items.

“We are asking people to meet Dec. 14 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 475 Franklin St. in Gretna,” Fisher said. “There will be doughnuts and coffee provided in the morning and pizza in the afternoon. And soft drinks and bottled water will be available throughout the day.”

If you would like to make a donation or to volunteer, contact Fisher at (504) 367-4743 or Dunphy at (504) 481-2486.

This year’s toy drive is dedicated to the memory Mary Naccari of Terrytown who died last June of cancer. Naccari was a longtime family friend of Fisher’s.

Snow coming to Metairie 

If you are hoping for snow this holiday season, Mother Nature may not provide it but officials at Lafreniere Park will as the annual Snow Day is set to open to the public at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the park, 3000 Downs Blvd., Metairie.

“Beginning around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, employees with Pelican Ice will begin making snow for the event,” said Barry McGuinness, the park’s manager. “Sometimes, the snow lasts a long time, but obviously, it all depends on the temperature that day.”

Admission to the event is free. Concessions will be on sale, and pony rides will be available.

Christmas flashback special

If you have fond memories of Christmas TV variety specials from the 1960s, plan on attending “Butch Caire’s Holly Jolly Family Friendly Vintage TV Christmas Special” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Westwego Performing Arts Theatre, 177 Sala Ave.

Local entertainer Caire and special guests including Becky Allen, New Orleans queen of comedy, will recreate some of television’s most memorable holiday moments along with new skits and original songs.

Tickets range from $30 to $75 per person.

For tickets and more information, call (504) 885-2000.

Reindeer games

Local residents can meet and learn about real reindeer while helping a local hospital from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday and again on Dec. 16 at Clearview Mall, 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie.

Children and adults can meet Clarice the reindeer in person. Tickets are $5 per person, and all proceeds go to Children’s Hospital.

Those wishing to attend either day should arrive at the mall between 10 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. at the Clearview Room located behind Semolina’s Restaurant near the food court.

For more information, call the mall office at (504) 885-0202 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email or send a message to Clearview Mall on its Facebook page.

Eva Jacob Barkoff writes about the people and events in Jefferson Parish. She can be reached at