FOR THE KIDS: Thousands drive up for IL Cares Foundation Christmas Fair

FOR THE KIDS: Thousands drive up for IL Cares Foundation Christmas Fair
The IL Cares Foundation hosts its annual Christmas toy drive on Saturday, December 11, 2021.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Thousands of children and their families drove through the Queen Elizabeth Carnival Grounds for the annual IL Cares Foundation Christmas give back, where they were treated to free toys, treats, and a live entertainment show with Santa Claus and other characters.


People began to gather at the grounds in their vehicles well before 5am for the highly anticipated event that started just before 11am.

James Cartwright said he brought out 10 kids to the event because they’ve all had a hard year and deserved it.

“It’s nice and everything,” Cartwright said.

“I just bring the kids to enjoy themselves and have a good time.”

IL Cares Foundation Founder Sebas Bastian said the event is just among several outreach initiatives that his group of companies conducts throughout the year.

Bastian said they were unable to do their usual planned Christmas Carnival Day due to the uncertainty over whether the amusement park will be allowed to open; however, he believed it was still important for the foundation to do something for the children for the holiday.

Island Luck CEO Sebas Bastian hands out treats at the drive-thru event.

The event also saw dozen of volunteers from across the Playtech Systems Limited and Verizon Media organizations, including corporate partnerships with Dominoes Pizza, VitaMalt, and the Nassau Sports Association.

Waylon McHardy, senior beer brand manager at Commonwealth Brewery Limited, underscored the importance of the company giving back to the community.

“Vitamalt and Commonwealth Brewery at large, we’re always proud to be a part of any initiative where we can give back to the  Bahamian people and so this is just another platform and an opportunity for us to say thank you,” he said.

McHardy added: “We realize it’s important just to be a part of our community and so anytime we have these opportunities we are always fully on board.

“This is just the beginning of what we really want to work with and partner with IL Cares, so moving into 2022, I’m certain we will have some exciting plans that we will be able to share.”

Quinton Brennen, general manager of the National Sports Authority also shared why he believes the event was so important for the community.

“This is an exciting time of the year for the entire country, especially to see where we’ve come from in the last two years being faced with the global pandemic,” Brennen said.

“To see the individual are out and we are really kind of getting back into the spirit of giving and thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays, this is exciting for us.”

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.