imageA crowd of thousands packed the 7th Annual Toy Party & Silent Auction on Sunday, the unofficial launch to the holiday party season and a fundraiser that collects cash and toy donations for 19 beneficiaries across Atlanta.

The seventh incarnation of the popular event shifted gears to a new space within the cavernous AmericasMart in downtown Atlanta. Organizers made the venue work by offering a paparazzi wall as guests neared the red carpet entrance, an expansive silent auction with donations valued at $90,000, a toy drop the size of a football field and a VIP lounge that included the Atlanta Gay Mens Chorus and drinks poured through an ice sculpture.

imageFor the Kid, the all-volunteer group that stages the Toy Party, was still sorting toys, silent auction results and donations Monday. But organizers hoped to collect 5,500 toys and see more than 4,000 people on Sunday. Last year, the event raised 5,000 toys and more than $40,000 from the silent auction.

The mix of Toy Party beneficiaries includes LGBT organizations such as AID Atlanta, Jerusalem House, MEGA Family Project and YouthPride.

imageOther beneficiaries include All About Developmental Disability, Appalachian Children’s Emergency Shelter, Atlanta Children’s Shelter, CHRIS Kids, Community Welcome House, Cool Girls, Inc., Easter Seals of North GA, Hillside, Lutheran Services Group, Nicholas House, Rainbow House, SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center, Sheltering Arms and Tobie Grant Manor/Housing Authority of DeKalb County.

View the Project Q Atlanta photo album from the Toy Party.

View photos from the 2008 event.