Toy Drive Day 12: A Record-Shattering Morning

Chet Buchanan: 'The first half-million dollar toy drive, are you kidding me?'

December 10, 2018

KLUC 98.5 host Chet Buchanan climbed into the bucket of an NV Energy boom truck on Monday morning, ready to celebrate the end of his annual 12-day stay in the company’s parking lot. After gathering donations from his perch atop the 30-foot scaffold in the NV Energy parking lot, Buchanan was delivered back to Earth at 10 a.m., ending the most successful Toy Drive ever.

Before he was lowered to the ground, however, he asked the operator to raise him as high as the truck’s crane would allow.

He wanted to see the fruits of his labor from up high. It was also the only way to truly grasp the scale and success of the 20th annual KLUC Toy Drive presented by Venetian Resort and Sands Cares.

Toy Drive 2018
Joe Minnich

“The first half-million dollar toy drive, are you kidding me?” the host proclaimed as his yearly campaign drew to a close. 

Though he had high hopes for turnout when he began on November 29, Buchanan could never have imagined the final results when his feet finally touched the ground on December 10. The Tropical Smoothie Sea of Bikes was flooding outside of its boundaries. Donors delivered an overwhelming 8,757 bikes for area youngsters. This was the first year to ever top the 8,700 figure on the Naqvi Injury Law Bike Board. While official totals are still being tabulated, the 2018 Toy Drive became the first to break the fabled half-million-dollar mark in cash and gift card donations, collecting $505,448 on the Nevada State Bank toteboard. Donations will soon be distributed by HELP of Southern Nevada.

Just after 10 a.m., an emotional Chet and company helped close the 37th and final Coca-Cola truck of Toy Drive, another event record.

Add those totals to the 37 Coca Cola trucks worth of toys collected over 12 days and you have the biggest Toy Drive in history.

Buchanan had high hopes going into the final morning. Though the goal of raising a half-million dollars appeared to be a long shot, businesses began arriving early with their last minute donations.

The Venetian and Sands Cares delivered a $20,000 check, along with 75 bikes for the Tropical Smoothie Café “Sea of Bikes.” Buchanan’s KLUC co-workers presented a check for $3,000. Liberty Lock and Security, NV Energy, Bombard Electric, Bank of Nevada, Port of Subs, and PT’s/Golden Entertainment also came through with donations on Day 12.

But it was the team from Terrible Herbst that helped put Toy Drive over the top. Arriving at the NV Energy parking lot via police escort, the company presented Buchanan with two trucks carrying toys and 1,220 bikes; and a check for $120,000.

Buchanan, his voice hoarse from 12 days of broadcasting outdoors, fought back tears as he praised the organization for their donation. At last, Toy Drive donations had reached a new record.

As he stepped off the NV Energy truck and felt the ground beneath his feet again, Buchanan raised his arms in victory, and he wondered aloud how he could ever break this record in 2019, 2020, and beyond.

That’s something to worry about tomorrow, he remarked. For now, he’s just feeling the tingle. 


DAY 12: A Record-Shattering Morning!
DAY 11: Truck No. 32 is Closed
DAY 10: Highlights
CELEBRITIES: Strip headliner Terry Fator visits Toy Drive
DAY 9: Fellow Jocks Arrive to Boost Chet’s Spirits
DAY 8: Momentum Building, Terry Fator Delivers ‘Trifecta’
STORIES OF TOY DRIVE: Toy Drive Gave Him a Christmas, Now He’s Giving One to Others
DAY 7: Why Every Little Thing Counts
DAY 6: Packing More Acts Than a Vegas Variety Show
CELEBRITIES: Pawn Stars' Chumlee Comes to Toy Drive
CELEBRITIES: The St. Nick Carter Kissing Booth
DAY 5: Highlights
DAY 5: Nick Carter shuts down Truck No. 11
DAY 5: "St. Nick" Carter Kissing Booth a Smash Hit at Toy Drive
DAY 4: Now That's a Sea of Bikes!
DAY 3: Donors Make the NV Energy Parking Lot the Place to Be and Be Seen​
DAY 2: Vegas Businesses Go Above and Beyond​
DAY 2: Clothing Optional as Celebs Deliver Donations
KICKOFF: Toy Drive 2018 opens in grand style with Human Nature, Mayor Goodman
DAY 1 GALLERY: Check out some of the highlights
DAY 1: Human Nature lift Chet skyward
DAY 1: Naqvi Injury Law makes a BIG donation
DAY 1: Tropical Smoothie's Sea of Bikes get bigger!
DAY 1: Hirshi Masonry Spur an historic Toy Drive first!
DAY 1: The first toys on the truck
FAQ: Got a question about Toy Drive? Here are your answers