A MESSAGE FROM ASBURY PARK POLICE SERGEANT CONNIE BREECH: As you all know, this holiday season is going to be more challenging than any other season to meet the needs of our young people.

With the recent events of Hurricane Sandy and the nor'easter, there are additional strains on families to make it through the holidays. In Asbury Park, we started collecting toys early during the boardwalk Halloween events, only to have the toys destroyed by Sandy.

But we are Jersey Strong and have planned many events to reach our goal of filling our families' applications. Georgie's Bar will host a coat and clothing drive Sun., Dec. 9 from 4 to 10.

The Premiere Theatre group is offering a $5 coupon to a future show when bringing a toy to their production of Scrooge during December.

Donation boxes have been placed to collect toys in the following locations throughout the city: Jimmy's Restaurant, Frank's Deli, Asbury Roastery, Munch, Lush Spirits, Holdfast and police headquarters. In conjunction with the Asbury Park Mayor's Ball Foundation 501c(3), cash or check donations are also being accepted. Donations can be sent to AP Mayors Ball Foundation Toy Drive, 1 Municipal Plaza, Asbury Park NJ 07712. Please put "Toy Drive" on the memo line of the check.

Any questions can be directed to Sgt. Connie Breech at 732-502-5791 or Officer Michael Casey at 732-775-6124. Donations will be accepted until Dec 20. Asbury families seeking assistance during the holidays can pick up an application at police headquarters. As always, thank you for all your help.