Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rockville Town Square's Toy Kingdom assists MCPD's annual Autism Outreach Holiday Party (Photos)

Toy Kingdom's Paula Aulestia,
Officer Laurie Reyes, and
Officer Tara Bond
More than 50 children and their siblings celebrated the holidays just before Christmas at the annual Montgomery County Police Department Autism Outreach Holiday Party, held at the county's Public Safety Headquarters. MCPD's Autism/IDD/Alzheimer's Outreach Program teamed up with local attorney John Malouf, and Toy Kingdom to sponsor this year's event.

Toy Kingdom, an independent toy store located at Rockville Town Square, donated the toys for the event and assisted officers in choosing the right ones for the kids who would be attending. They also helped organize and wrap the gifts. Malouf contributed about $250 to the event, as well.
Reyes and Aulestia pose with
two of the attendees
“Because we are a specialty toy store, we are able to select the best toys for kids with autism meeting their sensory needs,” said Paula Aulestia, whose family owns Toy Kingdom. She has been involved with the MCPS autism program for nearly 10 years. Aulestia said her involvement with the autistic community led her family to take on this giving project.

Rockville Town Square developer Federal Realty praised Toy Kingdom's participation in the event. Deirdre Johnson, VP of asset management at Federal Realty called it "an example of the important role small, independently-owned businesses play in the fabric of our community."
Reyes hands out
gifts to children
Officer Laurie Reyes also lauded the toy store's role in the event, at which kids enjoyed pizza, cookies, a ballon artist and live music.  “Toy Kingdom has been such a great resource and a wonderful partner for us for this program, and Mr. Malouf’s generosity has enabled us to engage with the members of our Austism IDD community and encourage a trusting relationship between those children and our officers. It’s really great to see these children interact with our officers in a positive way,” said Reyes, of MCPD's special operations division.

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