Toys Along the Boulevard

A Camp Bowie Christmas returns to spread goodwill and cheer throughout west Fort Worth.

In years past, A Camp Bowie Christmas stood as one of Fort Worth’s proudest holiday traditions. On the day of the event, held in mid-December, the famed brick-lined thoroughfare became a proxy North Pole, with displays, special performances, holiday treats from local vendors, and public readings of holiday classics. Santa Claus himself would even put in regular appearances, to pose for photos and make himself available for gift requests. The event traditionally benefited Toys for Tots, and revelers would share in the spirit of giving through the donation of unwrapped gifts for needy children.

In the last couple years, the spirit of Camp Bowie Christmas has lagged somewhat from its heyday of 2011-2013. This December, however, the tradition will reclaim its prominence, as local business owners and the Camp Bowie District team with Toys for Tots for another seasonal celebration.

“Camp Bowie Christmas is an important tradition here in Fort Worth,” says Jenifer Reiner, president of Camp Bowie District. “Everyone wants it to continue, especially the partnership with Toys for Tots.”

The Christmas season seems to arrive a little sooner every year. To keep pace, the 2016 A Camp Bowie Christmas gets started a little earlier than normal. This year’s kick-off will occur during the Moritz Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot on November 26th.

To provide yet another reason to participate in the laudable race, the Camp Bowie District will host a booth from 6 AM to 11 AM. The booth, staffed with United States Marines, will accept new, unwrapped toys for donation to Toys for Tots.

After the kick-off event, Camp Bowie District’s Toys for Tots drive continues through December 11th at participating businesses. Anytime within that two-week period, you can grab a toy for donation, patronize a participating business, and support both the children of your community and the independent entrepreneurs that make west Fort Worth special.

“An event like this falls directly in line with our mission of business advocacy and support for the greater community through Toys for Tots,” says Jenifer. “We currently have a total of 14 participating businesses, with the possibility to add more.”

Along the nine miles that comprise the Camp Bowie District – from Montgomery Avenue to Loop 820 – those who wish to support Toys for Tots will find a wealth of community-minded businesses hosting drop-offs.

Between University Drive and Interstate 30, you can deposit your toys at any of the following places: Buffalo West 7101 Camp Bowie Blvd.; Bliss Bridal at 4624 Camp Bowie; Kincaid’s Hamburgers at 4901 Camp Bowie; The Gingerman at 3716 Camp Bowie; V Fine Homes at 3535 W 7th St; and Winslow’s Wine Café at 4101 Camp Bowie.

A little farther along the boulevard, businesses accepting toys for children include A Piece of Work at 5714 Locke Avenue; Capital Title at 6115 Camp Bowie, Ste 144; Gordon Boswell Flowers at 6202 Camp Bowie; and Origin Bank at 5800 Camp Bowie, Ste. 100.

The more you travel out along Camp Bowie does nothing to diminish the holiday spirit of local businesses. Between Wellington Road and Loop 820, the following businesses have pledged their services as drop-off locations: Nissan at 3451 West Loop 820 South; Cendera Center at 3600 Benbrook Highway; Buffalo West at 7101 Camp Bowie West; and Jasper McDonald’s office at 3505 Reagan Drive.

If you want to give a little back this year, the partnership between Camp Bowie District businesses and Toys for Tots provides an excellent opportunity to support two stellar organizations.

The DFW Metroplex division of Toys for Tots offers toys and events to benefit underprivileged children in our community. An effort of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Toys for Tots plays an active role in nurturing the growth of productive, responsible, and patriotic young people. It may just seem like a toy; but in reality, for less fortunate children, the gifts they receive serve as messages of joy and hope.

Camp Bowie District, Inc. itself is a non-profit organization which works to advocate local businesses, manage public resources, and beautify the historic boulevard that serves as Fort Worth’s heart and soul. Few initiatives embody these efforts more clearly than the intersection between charity, community, and business displayed through the Camp Bowie Christmas Toys for Tots drive.

“Everybody – residents, neighbors, and businesses – wants to be part of something bigger than them,” says Jenifer. “To support our community, as well as donate and improve things outside of our immediate area: that’s what this effort is all about.”