Eyes sparkled and grins spread across the faces of patients at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital as Santa Claus pulled up on a shiny red Malibu speedboat filled with new toys.
Tommy’s water sports shop delivered a boatload of donated toys to the hospital following a Christmas in July toy drive.
“We are so excited to allow a lot of kids to have fun throughout the next couple months,” said Russ Hoekstra, manager of Child Life Services. “These toys are used for birthdays, celebrations, you name it.”
Lexi Youngberg, a 24-year-old who teaches wake surf lessons at Tommy’s, organized the toy drive. She lost her left leg at age 16 in a boating accident.
“The doctors at Helen DeVos (Children’s Hospital) saved her life,” said Janice Youngberg, Lexi’s mother.
The young woman understands what it is like to be stuck inside a hospital during the summertime and wanted to make the toy drive special for patients.
“We get to spend all these days out on the water, enjoying summer, and we wanted to make sure these kids get to enjoy summer in a fun way, too, even if they’re not outside,” she said.