Toy Drive During Cape Symphony Holiday Concerts to Benefit Military Families

HYANNIS – The Cape Symphony Orchestra is gearing up for its annual “Holiday on the Cape” concert and organizers are asking attendees to embrace the spirit of the season.

The Symphony is partnering with the Cape Cod Military Support Foundation to hold a toy drive during the six performances to support the Foundation’s Operation Santa party which benefits local military and Coast Guard families.

Cape Symphony Artistic Director and Conductor Jung-Ho Pak said the toy drive partnership is a natural fit.

“I think the holidays bring out the very, very best in all of us, the most generous spirit possible,” Pak said. “Why not have the audience participate in that generous spirit by giving toys.”

Operation Santa is one of the several Military Support Foundation’s events held each year to support the families of those who serve the nation. The event is held on Joint Base Cape Cod.

“It’s our day to give back to the military families and say ‘thank you for their service,’” said Don Cox, the president of the foundation.

One of the major components of the event is having Santa give out gifts to children in military families.

Last year, more than 1,000 kids received toys at the event. The children also choose a gift for their parents, along with enjoying pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, balloon scultures, a DJ, pictures with Santa and pizza.

There is also a bike raffle with between 50-75 donated bicycles.

“Most of the kids who come here come from other parts of the country and the government doesn’t pay to move them,” Cox said. “So when they come here they come with what’s on their back or what they can afford to bring with them.”

A mutual volunteer for both organizations came up with the idea to fill a boat outside of the holiday concert performances.

The six performances draw about 9,000 audience members and Cox says he can’t wait to see their generosity.

“We are looking forward to having Santa sitting in a boat outside of the concert and people bringing toys up to him and saying thank you and taking pictures, and making it a very festive holiday to kick off the season,” Cox said.

The holiday concert will feature the Cape Symphony debut of Vintage Vocal Quartet, who will bring their smooth, retro sounds to classic holiday songs like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Silver Bells.”

Another highlight of the concert this year is “A Celtic Christmas” which will feature original music composed specifically for the concert. The Cape-based Celtic Roots will join the symphony on stage.

Other highlights include the Chatham Chorale, Conservatory Youth Ballet, a Hanukkah piece and the popular audience sing-a-long.

“It’s become a real Cape event. People say ‘My holiday doesn’t begin until this concert,’” Pak said. “It’s good that we do it at the beginning of December because then you get to enjoy the holidays all throughout the month.”

The performances and toy drive at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center at Barnstable High School will be Friday, November 30 at 4 and 8 p.m.; Saturday, December 1 at 3 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, December 2 at 1 and 5 p.m.

Gift cards for teens and monetary donations will also be accepted for the Operation Santa party, which will be held December 16.

More information about the Military Support Foundation can be found at

Tickets for the concert can be purchased at

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