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Applebees to host gift drive

A toy drive at Applebee's, created by a group of 'regulars' who wanted to give something back to others in need, will benefit as many as 10,000 children who receive care at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Portland.

The idea for this began as an alternative to a holiday gift exchange among family and friends that has now evolved into an annual holiday season gift-giving program.

Today through Dec. 22, people can drop off a new unwrapped toy at any Applebee's in the Lake Oswego, Portland and Vancouver areas. These toys will help fulfill holiday wishes of children who face stressful medical situations.

On Thursday, Dec. 14, from 5 to 8 p.m., local residents are invited to stop by the Lake Oswego Applebee's, 6325 Meadows Road, and bring an unwrapped toy and enjoy special festivities. The Shriners Hospital van will also be there.

Suggestions for gifts include Etch-A-Sketch; infant items such as cassette tapes, mobiles, music boxes, activity centers; Spanish movies, books and music for all ages; teen health and beauty gift sets, lotion, make-up kits; Polaroid cameras with film; phone cards; bedside art activities; T-shirts, socks and underwear; personal CD players; hair clips and pony tail holders (no metal), shampoo, conditioner, big combs and hairbrushes; play doctor kits and craft and bead kits.

Applebee's regional headquarters is located in West Linn.