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Bringing Light from Darkness – RTA Toy Drive in Memory of Skyler Legano

RTA students, staff and parents with the Legano family bring donated toys, games and more to JFS for its Lights of Love program in December. These were donated in memory of 8th grade student Skyler Legano (OBM) during the special RTA Toy Drive held at the end of the year. In addition, donations also were made to the Chai Lifeline organization and ASK Pediatric Oncology Foundation @VCU.

Rudlin Torah Academy’s Toy Drive brought a lot of smiles to a lot of children, at a time when most needed.

Skyler Legano (OBM).

The toy drive was launched in memory of RTA’s beloved 8th grade student Skyler Legano of blessed memory, who tragically passed away this past October.

Skyler was a young man who enjoyed giving, and he loved being able to share games and treats with others.

The drive was the brainchild of RTA teacher and guidance counselor Sorah Plotnick, and run by RTA’s 7th/8th grade class.

“When we came up with the idea to do a Chesed Project, I knew that Skyler would have been the first one to support it and he would have been at the forefront of all the details,” reflected Sorah.

(From left) Avi Gruber, Ezra Holi, Dani Plotnick and Eliyahu Aronowitz look at some of the donated game and toys.

“We, the RTA family, are so fortunate to have been able to come together both in person and virtually to support this amazing drive in merit and in memory of our dear friend who we all have been missing so much.”

RTA collected toys, books, games & gift cards for local children in need and in hospitals. Everything collected was distributed to Jewish Family Services ‘Lights of Love’ program, the Chai Lifeline organization, and ASK pediatric oncology foundation @VCU.

Toys and games are packed and ready to be delivered.

“This toy drive was so special as it was done in memory of one of our patients,” observed Katie Barber, C.T.R.S./Child Life Specialist.

“The student-collected toys and gift cards will be used to help celebrate our patients at the ASK pediatric hematology/oncology clinic.  It’s always meaningful when the community helps to support our patients.”

Teresa Baldwin, JFS’ Director of Human Resources and Volunteer Services, added, “We are so grateful to RTA for choosing JFS as a beneficiary of the toy drive. Many of the children in foster care who JFS Connecting Hearts works with live in residential centers

(From left) Emily Legano with Katie Barber, ASK child life specialist, pose with some of the toys, games and gifts donated in memory of her son to the organization.

or group homes, so a special gift is very meaningful.”

She continued, “The holidays can be a hard time for these kids and having presents to unwrap makes it feel more normal.”

The response to this drive from RTA families, friends and family of the Leganos and the entire community was overwhelming.


It was almost like RTA had become the new FAO Schwartz for Chanukah, as hundreds of beautiful new games, toys, dolls, books and more were collected, more than enough to share generously with all the participating organizations.

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