SOUTH WAVERLY — The South Waverly Volunteer Fire Department is gearing up for the 6th Annual Joe Willer Memorial Food and Toy Drive for Kids, with collection taking place Saturday from 1 p.m. until done, under the borough pavilion.

“I’ll probably be here until 9 or 10 o’clock,” said Second Assistant Fire Chief Rich McConnell, indicating that people will be able to stop by with donations any time that afternoon and evening.

Anyone unable to make it to the collection event on Saturday can call the station to set up a time to drop items off during the week.

All donated items stay local to the Valley, with food items being given to the Valley Food Pantry and toys being given to the Salvation Army. “We keep it local,” said McConnell. “I know Toys for Tots are the big thing, but I’d rather stay local with it.”

According to McConnell the drive brought in a record number of food and toy items last year, despite taking place in the middle of the pandemic.

“The toys, I know we had well over 150 or so,” said McConnell, “and the food, probably 100 or so.” He said he’s hopeful for an even greater turnout and number of donations this year.

The fire department is also getting things in order for its third annual Christmas walk, which McConnell noted as the reason he will be under the pavilion so late on Saturday.

The walk will once again be set up around the Richard L. Bentley Community Park next to the borough hall, and as always, will be free to the public. McConnell noted that it is still uncertain whether or not they will be able to supply coffee and hot chocolate to walkers this year.

“Our Christmas Walk lights will come on Friday night (Nov. 26) and go Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until New Year’s Eve,” said McConnell. “There will be lights, and blow-ups, and different things so they can walk around at night.”