If ever there was a great example of Las Vegans having heart, it was this past Saturday when Lotus Broadcasting and Findlay Kia combined for the second annual Holly Jolly Christmas Toy Drive at the Findlay Automotive Group dealership situated at 5325 W. Sahara Ave.
In a promotion featuring Holly Madison, star of "Holly's World" TV show and "Peepshow" at Planet Hollywood, the two-hour radio remote with Lotus station KOMP-FM 92.3 attracted hundreds of listeners all coming with Christmas gifts for needy children from throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
The rules stipulated that a $10 unwrapped gift was all that was required to participate, but far bigger and more expensive gifts were dropped off before the event started and long after it ended. All toys were given to Toys for Tots of Southern Nevada before being distributed to needy children all over the Las Vegas Valley.
"I was surprised how many non-$10 gifts we received," said Findlay Kia General Manager Byron Klemaske. "In fact, we had Barbie dolls and even several bikes dropped off.
"It's really neat to see people come out to support the drive. We will be back to support it again in 2011, for sure."
Madison spent the two hours welcoming visitors and signing autographs.
"I'm so excited to be doing the Holly Jolly Christmas Drive," Madison said. "This was so much fun and we collected some great toys for the kids. This is the time of year to reflect on what you have while helping those who are less fortunate."
The Findlay Kia event kicked off the series of special events throughout the month of December. Raffle tickets were given to everyone who donated a gift. The grand-prize winner will receive a three-year lease on a new Kia Soul on the final day of the toy drive, Saturday, Dec. 18, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at El Segundo Sol Mexican restaurant at the Fashion Show mall on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Even after the two-hour remote broadcast had been completed at Findlay Kia, one listener dropped off more than 50 handmade dolls in a very heartwarming gesture.
"The listener stopped by at the last minute," said Julie Flynn, Lotus' director of marketing, promotions and community events. "She heard about the event and has been collecting the dolls for the past couple of months, and was thrilled to drop them off for such a worthy cause."
Findlay Kia is one of the latest additions to Findlay Automotive Group that was founded in 1961 by the late Pete Findlay. Company operations in Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Arizona are now spearheaded by Findlay's son, Cliff, who has led growth that includes 18 franchises.
More information regarding the Holly Jolly Toy Drive can be found at www.WeAreLV.com. or by calling Lotus Broadcasting at 876-1460.