Rick Rizzs Toys for Kids is a 501(c) (3) registered charity, EIN 91-2099219. Our purpose is to provide holiday toys and cash contributions for needy families in the greater Seattle area.
Mariner broadcaster Rick Rizzs and former Mariner center fielder Dave Henderson started Toys for Kids during the off-season 16 years ago to give support to homeless and abused children and their families during the holiday season. Rick and Dave simply passed the hat among local ballplayers to raise funds. What started as a bunch guys tossing money in the hat has grown into a significant annual event. Last year’s dinner and auction held November 5, 2011 raised over $145,000.
With these proceeds, we were able to buy toys for kids at several organizations, including Children’s Hospital, First Place School, Harborview Medical Center, and the Atlantic Street Center. Additional contributions enabled us to provide cash and gift support to families and programs at First Avenue Service Center, Union Gospel Mission, Hopelink, Vision House, Broadview Women’s Shelter, YMCA Women’s Shelter, and others. Toys for Kids now supports 17 worthy agencies in the greater Puget Sound region, all of whom serve the needs of homeless and underprivileged families.
The Atlantic Street Center in Seattle holds a “Holiday Toy Store” event where identified parents can come and select toys for their children. In past years, this event was sponsored by a single company. The 2005 event was set for the second Wednesday of December and on the preceding Friday their sponsor withdrew. The press picked up the story and Rick Rizzs saw the news report. The next morning, he had assembled several volunteers and took Teresa Everett and her staff to Toys R Us in Bellevue. Teresa loaded up five carts and proceeded to the checkout counter. Rick told her to go back and keep shopping until there were enough toys for every family. In all, about 350 families and over 1,500 children were able to participate in the Atlantic Street Center’s event because of the contributions to the Toys for Kids Charity. Toys for Kids has become a major sponsor for this wonderful event.
The core auction items are autographed baseball memorabilia Rick Rizzs, a broadcaster for the Seattle Mariners, collected this year as he traveled with the team. We will have an extensive collection of autographed baseballs, bats, jerseys, and hats, generously provided by players from all around Major League Baseball. The Seattle Mariners have donated several “experience” items, including an inning in the broadcast booth with Mariner Announcer Rick Rizzs. Other contributors include area hotels, restaurants, museums, and businesses. We have made it a priority to expand the various items beyond just baseball.