James Brown Toy Giveaway draws more than 600 for toys, Santa visit

James Brown Toy Giveaway

The 21st James Brown Toy Giveaway kicked off Dec. 19 at 9 a.m. (WRDW-TV / Dec. 19, 2011)

News 12 at First at Five / Monday, Dec. 19, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Hundreds gathered for the annual James Brown Toy Giveaway Monday morning.

"I think it is awesome," said News 12 This Morning's Henry Stephens. "It is fun, but is kind of cold in here."

The cool atmosphere did not blunt the fun for Henry and others like him.

"There are puzzles, board games, super hero toys, dolls," Henry said. "Any toy you can think of is here."

The Brown family says they hope to make the day a fun experience for children of all ages.

"They also get to run around and have a good time," Deanna Brown Thomas said. "For some kids, that's the only fun that they are going to have for Christmas."

Approximately 600 children registered for the giveaway. The Brown family also set up games and invited Santa to the event.

"Who is the happiest guy in the picture?" questioned Rep. John Barrow. "It is always Santa Claus. That milk and cookies you can forget about that. He is not doing it for that. He is doing it for the good feeling he gets inside from making somebody else happy by giving them a gift. That is a good example for all of us."

Rep. Barrow, D-Ga., hoisted bicycles to local children. He did a little heavy lifting while Mayor Deke Copenhaver greeted families with a team of super hero heavy hitters.

"I felt like I was in Wonderland or something," Copenhaver said. "Just to see the community come together for something during this time of the year it does a mayor's heart good."

The day also means a lot to families like Tywanda Oatman and her grandchildren. They left with brand new bicycles.

"Some families are not fortunate," Oatman said. "I thank God that James Brown's love is still moving on."

The Brown family says they intend to continue their family tradition.

"As long as God is blessing," Thomas said. "And I know he is not getting out that business anytime soon, we'll be here."

The giveaway started at 9 a.m. People started lining up at 7 a.m. No one left empty handed. The family is also hosting a toy giveaway Wednesday in Harlem, N.Y.

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