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April 15, 2014

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Strip celebrities help shatter annual Christmas toy drive record

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Danny Mahoney/XS

John Wood, Yannick Mugnier, Jesse Waits and Ronn Nicolli at XS and Tryst’s 2011 holiday toy drive, which raised more than $171,000, a new record.

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DJ Chet Buchanan and his 2011 holiday toy drive.

XS and Tryst's 2011 Holiday Toy Drive

XS and Tryst's 2011 holiday toy drive raised more than $171,000, a new record. Launch slideshow »

The Morning Zoo’s DJ Chet Buchanan’s 13th Annual Toy Drive wrapped up with overwhelming numbers: 2,647 bikes, 16 50-foot semi trucks full of toys and a whopping $201,012 in gift cards and cash. All of it will be given to underprivileged children who may not otherwise have presents this holiday season.

Among the generous Strip stars: Holly Madison, who donated $20,000; Criss Angel, who presented $13,000, along with bicycles and other gifts; and the “Pawn Stars” cast, who chipped in $10,000. Local companies included $52,000 from Walmart, $10,000 from Flightlinez, $10,000 from Walgreens and the whopping and record-breaking $171,000 in donations from Steve Wynn’s Tryst and XS staff that we reported last week. Shane Victorino contributed the final $8,000 to top the record $200,000 mark.

Chet moved into a tent atop a 30-foot scaffolding Dec. 1 and stayed there 24 hours a day through wind, rain and freezing temperatures for the 12 Days of Toy Drive. In the 13 years, Chet has spent more than 4 months of his life living in a tent in the spirit of collecting toys for those in need. There is a photo recap of his vigil at the KLUC Web site.

“It is so amazing to see all these people come together and be a part of something bigger than them,” Chet said. “When you’re there, it’s magic -- the semi trucks lined up, the sea of bikes, the gift-card count … it’s indescribable.”
Celebrities and VIPs who have showed their support include Brooke Burke, Ne-Yo, Nick Cannon, Carlos Mencia, Nick Carter, Gary Spivey, Kerry Simon, George Maloof, Louie Anderson, Far East Movement, Manika, Forrest Griffin, Bella Thorne and Vitor Belfort.

Chet also was rewarded with the news when he climbed down that his Morning Zoo colleagues and he have had their contracts renewed through the end of 2014.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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