Guy Fieri’s game show, toy run, benefit local charities

Just in time for Christmas, celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s toy run at Target Santa Rosa South rounded up bikes, bike helmets, basketballs and cartfuls of other fun gifts which will be distributed to various children’s organizations in Northern California.

The toy run is an annual event for Fieri and his family.

“Each year gets better as we ask our kids to think about others and shop for toys for those not as fortunate as we are,” he said on Facebook.

Elsewhere in town, the Redwood Gospel Mission receives thousands of pounds of food donations from Fieri’s game Food Network show “Guy’s Grocery Games.”

Fieri began donating leftover items from the show when it moved from Los Angeles to a Santa Rosa warehouse in 2013.

In the program, four chefs compete by creating dishes with a themed ingredient. The winner has two minutes to collect all items on a shopping list by combing the isles of the “grocery store”, for a grand prize of $20,000.

The leftover perishables from each show-meat, baked goods, produce-go the Mission.

When the show is in production, four months out of the year, the Mission receives donations five days a week. It is the Mission’s biggest food donation, providing up to 50 percent of all foodstuffs, said Jeff Gilman, the Mission’s executive director.

Regular donations to the Mission also come from Trader Joe’s, Oliver’s Market, Safeway and Raley’s stores and private donors.

“Our folks eat very, very well,” Gilman said. “The donations are a key to our being able to serve meals cheaply and effectively. We are incredibly grateful to Guy and all the donors in Sonoma County for their generosity.”

The Mission’s annual 3-day Christmas program is Dec. 23-25 this year, and will again feed hundreds of people.

Cynthia Sweeney covers health care, hospitality, residential real estate, education, employment and business insurance. Reach her at or call 707-521-4259.

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