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Boxer & Gerson will be helping to celebrate two milestones on December 11 when the firm hosts the opening reception for the annual Oakland Mayor’s Toy Drive for the 10th consecutive year. That decade of gatherings at which Boxer & Gerson rolls out the carpet for the Oakland workers’ compensation community coincides with the Toy Drive’s 40th anniversary, making this year’s event all the more significant in its history. Some 250 or more guests are expected to attend.
The traditional “admission charge” for the opening reception will hold steady again this year: either five unwrapped non-violent toys suitable for children up to 12 years old, or a check for $50 that will go directly to the fund for buying additional toys.
This year’s event will have nearly 50 sponsors in addition to Boxer & Gerson. It will take place from 5-8 p.m. in the Rotunda Building in downtown Oakland’s Frank H Ogawa Plaza. As always, it will feature catered finger foods and drinks, musical entertainment (George Spencer Trio and the Pacific Boychoir) and a highly prized raffle item: an autographed jersey from Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry.
A special addition this year is the donation of 54 children’s bicycles to the drive, which have already been delivered and stored free of charge (pictured above), courtesy of the Rotunda Building.
The first 50 bikes were donated by Witkop Law Group, Michael Sullivan & Associates, Ametros, and MED-LEGAL. Walmart in Oakland then added an additional four bikes when the store agreed to assemble and deliver the whole lot of them to the reception site.
Making brief welcoming remarks this year will be Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (who promises a special surprise), Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Presiding Judge Gene Lam, Oakland Fire Department Deputy Chief Melinda Drayton, and Oakland Police Deputy Chief Roland Holmgren.
Boxer & Gerson attorneys and other employees will also be on hand, as they have been since the reception’s beginning, when it was strictly an in-house affair inspired by Maria Sager, one of the firm’s partners and co-chair of the reception. At the time, Sager thought it might be a means to collect a few additional toys for the drive while also serving as a social occasion for attendees.
“Back then, I couldn’t have imagined the reception growing into what it has become,” adds Sager, “but the workers’ comp community really stepped up once we opened it to them, and the City of Oakland has pitched right in. It’s a very festive event, with everyone focused on how much the Toy Drive means every year to the children and their families who benefit from the community’s generosity. Our entire firm feels privileged to be a part of it, and none of us could accomplish what we will on December 11 without my co-chair and Boxer & Gerson colleague Tiffany Speers, who has brought many fresh ideas to make this year surely the best one yet! ***