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Free Movies, Popcorn Offered in Exchange for Food/Toy Drive Donation

By Wendell Hutson | December 12, 2013 6:34am
 The Chatham 14 Theaters, 210 W. 87th St., is sponsoring a toy and winter coat drive to benefit needy families.
The Chatham 14 Theaters, 210 W. 87th St., is sponsoring a toy and winter coat drive to benefit needy families.
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DNAinfo/Wendell Hutson

CHATHAM — The second annual holiday party for the Chatham 14 Theaters takes place Saturday and will offer a food and toy drive, a bike raffle for children, and an opportunity to meet Santa Claus, Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) and Samuel Love, a 10-year-old philanthropist who has organized a citywide toy drive to benefit needy kids.

Anyone who donates a non-perishable food item will receive free admission to see a noon showing of "The Polar Express" or "Despicable Me 2." Anyone who donates an unwrapped toy will get a free large popcorn, according to Venisha White-Johnson, operations manager for the theater, 210 W. 87th St.

Popcorn vouchers are also being given away to anyone who donates a coat to the theater's winter coat drive, which runs until Dec. 20.

"Ideally, we would like a donation from each person seeking admission to a movie, but if one canned good is donated, the whole family would be allowed free admission," said White-Johnson. "It is important that people know that the free movies will be shown only at noon."

All non-perishable items will be donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

All toys donated would go to Love, who launched his second annual toy drive in October with a goal of collecting 2,000 toys or gift cards for children affected by tornadoes in Denver, Oklahoma and Washington, Ill.

Love said he is grateful for the help from the theater and added he is confident that when his toy drive ends next week he will have reached his goal.

"I am not worried because I know God will see to it," Love said.

A Santa Claus will be available to take Christmas wishes from children and pose for pictures. White-Johnson said Brookins, whose ward includes the theater, will be on-site at 11 a.m. to greet customers. The bike raffle will take place at noon.

"We will be purchasing three kids' bikes to raffle off to those who donated a non-perishable item or a toy," White-Johnson said. "This is our way of giving back to the community for supporting during our 16 years in Chatham."