WESTBROOK---In honor of Elias Wezowicz, the Knights of Columbus at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Westbrook are collecting as many toys as possible to fulfill a wish.
Elias, a member of the parish, died at the age of 9 from mitochondrial disease in November 2015.
Before he passed away, Elias told his father that he wanted to make sure every kid had a wonderful Christmas.
To honor the brave young man, his family has since collected truckloads of toys each year for WGME-TV (CBS 13)’s Joy of Sharing campaign, which helps the Salvation Army deliver thousands of toys to children throughout the area.
"So, the Joy of Sharing has meant a lot to us knowing that our son was so concerned about children having toys on Christmas morning. We found it's a great avenue working with WGME and the Salvation Army to make sure that kids have toys on Christmas morning so with the help of our friends and family, we continue to collect toys in his memory,” said Joel, Elias’ father.
The Knights of Columbus are supporting the cause by asking community members to bring an unwrapped new toy to the parish, located on 268 Brown Street in Westbrook, that will then be donated to Joy of Sharing.
Parishioners and community members are asked to drop off a toy or toys by Sunday, December 1. There is a collection box in the narthex of the church.
For those unable to get to Westbrook this weekend, you can drop off toys for Joy of Sharing at WGME-TV, located on 81 Northport Drive in Portland, from November 29 to December 17.