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Fundraiser Benefits 'Westyn's Wish' Toy Drive

Bring some quarters for the chance to win raffle baskets, all while helping bring cheer to kids at Christmas.

Westyn Genens' family is keeping his memory alive by bringing cheer to hospitalized kids at Christmas. Credit: Genens family
Westyn Genens' family is keeping his memory alive by bringing cheer to hospitalized kids at Christmas. Credit: Genens family
For the last seven Christmases, Jeff and Sarah Genens have been working make the holidays a little brighter for kids who have to be in the hospital at Christmas.


The Joliet couple lost their son, Westyn Robert, to congenital heart defects in 2007. Now, every Christmas, they collect toys for kids at Advocate Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn. On Monday, American Legion Post 1080 is pitching in.

The legion hall, 2625 Ingalls Ave. in Joliet, will host the "Quarter Mania Fundraising Paddle Party" from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, to support the toy drive.

Here's how it works: For each new, unwrapped toy ($5 value or more) or $5 donation, guests will get a paddle number and a stick with their designated number on it.

At 6:30 p.m., the "quarter raffle" will begin, and a caller will describe the contents of a specific basket donated by one of 10 different vendors at the event. Participants will then have the option of "putting in" for the basket — and the more toys you donate, the more chances you have to win.

From the event Facebook page:

"If a Participant brings in 3 toys (valued at $5 ea) they would have the option of putting in none, 1, 2 or all the numbers. Each basket valued at $25 will be a 2 quarter raffle. If the participant wants to use only 2 of their numbers they would put 4 quarters in the 'QUARTER CUP' they will find directly in front of them-along with the numbers they wish to use. Once the caller says final call-no additional quarters or numbers may be dropped in the cup. At that time the caller will then begin pulling #'s from a bag. Numbers will be drawn until the first 'played' number is called. The person holding that number will receive the Basket or Display."

At the start of the event, guests will have the chance to view all 40 raffle items. Attendees will also be able to browse and shop with vendors before and after the raffle.

Vendors include Tastefully Simple, Paparazzi Jewelry, Origami Owl, Mary Kay, Noah's Ark Animal Workshop, Scentsy and Tupperware.

Toy donations for Westyn's Wish can also be dropped off now through Dec. 15 at locations in Plainfield, Joliet, Romeoville, Shorewood and Tinley Park. Click here for a list of drop-off spots.

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