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Trace Harris/ The ItemSam Jhangiani, Aashish Jhangiani, Anette Shields and Nate Smith pose with "Santa" before distributing Christmas gifts at Lee Baron last week. 

Over 250 gifts were collected last week to make Christmas morning extra special for dozens of area youth.

In keeping with the season of giving, local retailer Lee Baron Fashions teamed up with businesses across Huntsville for their sixth annual toy drive at the West Hill Mall.

“We really care about making an impact in the community,” said Aashish Jhangiani (A.J.). “That is our connection to the community and it is how we form our bond to the town.”

Dozens of families picked up toys during the drive, with Lee Baron employees handing out the remaining gifts during working hours over the weekend, along with many gifts going to the Walker County Boys & Girls Club.

This year’s event was in honor of Bernard Gambrell, who passed away earlier this year. Gembrell came up with the idea for Lee Baron to host an annual toy drive six years ago.

“Our focus is on kids, they really are our future,” A.J. added. “That’s why we make such a big initiative, we have to provide direction and education to promote well being.

“One of the greatest gifts is to see a child smile.”

The event was sponsored by Nate and Telisha Smith of Ink Slingers Tattoo, DJ Bull of Dirty Third Records and Nigele Grant Sr. of Grant Tax Service. Jhangiani and his father, Sam Jhangiani own and operate the business, which specializes in men’s footwear and apparel.

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