Every year, Chet Buchanan finds himself in a familiar place.
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While everyone else is attending holiday parties and crossing off names on their gift lists,
the 98.5 KLUC radio host is headed back to the top of the “Big 30-Foot Scaffold” in the
parking lot of the NV Energy building for the 23rd annual 98.5 KLUC Chet Buchanan
Show Toy Drive presented by The Venetian Resort.
From December 2-12, Buchanan will broadcast from his perch while collecting holiday
gifts that will be distributed by HELP of Southern Nevada. During the 10 days, he’ll watch
as families and businesses make the trek to the parking lot with boxes – and in many
cases, truckloads – of new, unwrapped toys or bicycles that will fill the “Sea of Bikes”
Buchanan’s “holiday home” looks cozy from the street below. He’s got a tent, and a port-
a-potty, and he could still do his holiday shopping from his phone. But let’s be real, your
idea (and mine) of a vacation isn’t spending 10 days and nights on top of a scaffold. The
good news is – and this isn’t a weather service, but that’s why the Internet was invented
– daytime temperatures are expected in the 60s and 70s during Toy Drive. That should
help boost turnout, as well.
A Holiday Hootenanny
And, depending on what time of day you visit, you might even see a local celebrity. Toy
Drive is famous for attracting Las Vegas’ most famous talents to the parking lot, and
past years have seen the likes of Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter, Las Vegas Aces star
A’ja Wilson, entertainer Melody Sweets, Murray the Magician, the Chippendales (shirtless
even in winter weather), Blue Man Group, and America’s Got Talent winner Terry Fator –
among others – stopping by to “feel the tingle.”
Still Going Strong
With 23 years on the board, Buchanan’s run looks like it may never end. Even in 2020,
with the pandemic raging and restrictions in place, Toy Drive took in more than
$516,000 in gift cards, check, and cash donations, while filling 42, 50-foot trucks worth of
toys and collecting 6,533 bicycles.
This year’s Toy Drive should have the feel of pre-pandemic events, with families and
spectators gathered below Buchanan’s post, warming themselves by the fire pits and
toasting to the generosity of the Las Vegas community. The host will broadcast during
his usual morning show hours, while making appearances throughout the days and
nights as more donations arrive.
Donations can be made 24 hours a day, or online via the HELP of Southern Nevada
WHAT: 23rd annual 98.5 KLUC Chet Buchanan Show Toy Drive presented by The
WHERE: NV Energy, 6226 W. Sahara Avenue
WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 2 – Sunday, Dec. 12