Pete Canny, a bartender at The Wayland, said he was working the bar’s sandwich shop, Animals, when a couple of officers from the adjacent station house mentioned that donations for their annual toy drive were a few thousand dollars short this year. So Canny decided to team up with Pete Chelly, of Summit Bar across the street, to donate an evening’s worth of their tips toward the cause.
The event, dubbed Pete and Pete Steal Christmas, was successful beyond all expectations: with patrons getting free shots if they tipped over 25 percent, Canny raised $1,200, Chelly brought in $1,000, and the owners of their respective boites are matching the funds.
The bulk of the toys were purchased before the event, but when we spoke to Canny today, he was still shopping. “We have a lot of Tonka trucks,” he said when asked whether there was a particular toy he was excited about handing out at tomorrow’s giveaway. “Growing up, I was a big sandbox kid so we got a bunch of those. It’s cool having this much disposable cash and walking through the aisles of a toy store.”
The two bars aren’t the only ones contributing to the toy drive. This year NYU teamed up with Jebon Sushi and the Half Pint, among others, to collect toys as well.