by Cynthia Price, Director of Communications
Toys made by children from around the world took center stage last night in New York City.
Time Out New York and NTDTV covered the opening reception. Donors from the New York area previewed the toys before the exhibit officially opened to the public.
Anne Lynam Goddard, president and CEO of ChildFund, told the audience, “Every show has a star, and the real stars tonight are the children who made the toys.
“The toys they made offer dramatic proof that – through it all – children can retain their sense of wonder, their desire to play, their indomitable spirit, and their ability to imagine and create…if they are given the support they need,” she continued.
Many of the toys on display tell compelling stories of the particular social, economic or political conditions present in the children’s home countries, while others reflect similarities across regions in type of play and crafting technique. Some children use twigs, plastic bags and string to make kites, cut open soda cans to fashion toy cars and bind dried banana leaves to bring dolls to life.
Among the guests at the opening reception was Dayton Carr, a long-time ChildFund supporter who sponsors two children and has funded a playground in Liberia and a program for disabled children in Belarus.
Mick Foley and his wife Collette attended. Mick, a former wrestler and now author and philanthropist, has funded eight schools in Sierra Leone and community centers in the Philippines and Mexico. He is currently funding a program to help former girl soldiers in Sierra Leone. He sponsors seven children.
ChildFund’s former board chairman Bill Leahey and his wife Chris also were in attendance. They sponsor four children and have funded a library in Ethiopia.
Long-time supporter Irene Sanz and ChildFund board member Maureen Massey and her husband Ivor spent some time reminiscing about their recent ChildFund study tour to Kenya.
Integrated Media Solutions, which sponsors 60 children, hosted the evening’s reception.
As part of the reception, guests were asked to contribute to the building of playgrounds in Afghanistan. An anonymous gift of $10,000 and several additional donations will be used to equip the playgrounds.
The toy exhibit continues through Sept. 6. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
With previous stops in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Boston and Atlanta, the toy collection will next head to Idaho in October.