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Annual toy drive held in honour of Calgary officer Sgt. Andrew Harnett

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The 3rd annual Fill the Sgt. Andrew Harnett Rink Toy Drive was held Sunday.

KidsPlay Foundation Calgary hosted the annual event in honour of Sgt. Andrew Harnett who was killed while on duty on New Year’s Eve 2020.

Harnett was conducting a traffic stop when he was dragged by an SUV, falling into the path of an oncoming car.

“He was one of these guys that did everything for the community, he was very well known within the district five community,” said Sgt. Paban Dhaliwal.

The goal is to ensure every child has a gift to open on Christmas Day. Donations were collected at the community skating rink, renamed in Harnett’s memory.

“Get to give back to the community and the kids can’t get Christmas gifts, I think it's a really good thing to give it to them,” said Ravetj Dhadda, who donated gifts.

In its first year more than 1,300 toys were collected at the Fill the Sgt. Andrew Harnett Memorial Rink Toy Drive.

Last year, 1,025 toys were collected. Organizers hoped to collect 1,225 this year: 12 for the month of December and 25 for the day they will be given out.

Sgt. Andrew Harnett is shown in a handout photo from the Calgary Police Service. (CPS handout)

Representatives from several law enforcement agencies, along with the Calgary Stampeders and the Salvation Army and other charitable organizations, were also on hand.

“He loved kids, he was all about the youth, he was a coach,” said Harpal Sandhu who knew Sgt. Harnett through coaching.

Organizers have an ultimate goal to raise a total of 4601 toys, Sgt. Andrew Harnett's badge number.

Those who were unable to make it to the toy drive today can still donate toys at Calgary Police district offices until Dec. 17.

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