The Willcox invites the Aiken community to join it in bringing toys to local children who might otherwise have none for Christmas.

The historic hotel will host Santa and Mrs. Claus at the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots celebration from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Everyone is invited to join the fourth annual celebration.

The festive afternoon will feature the North Pole's most famous residents having their photos taken with area children and families, followed by a lobby full of carolers at the grand piano with Aiken natives John Vaughn and Brooke Lundy.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will sit in their bright red sleigh in front of a roaring fire in the lobby of the 115-year-old Aiken landmark, listening to children's Christmas dreams.

Well-known Aiken photographer Todd Lista, of Lista Studio of Photography, will be on hand to take family photos with the Claus family.

Lista, like several local people and businesses, is donating his services for the Toys for Tots campaign, once again led by Lane Parker of the James L. Hammons Marine Corps League.

All the League asks in return is that families leave an unwrapped toy that the Marines will give to a local child.

Cash donations are also accepted to help the Marine Corps Reserve assist local families.

Guests will gather around the grand piano from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to sing seasonal favorites with Vaughan on the grand piano and vocalist Lundy.

Toys for Tots is a mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

They collect unwrapped toys during October, November and December and distribute them as Christmas gifts to needy children in the local community.

For more information on the Aiken Toys for Tots campaign, call Lane Parker at 803-644-8300 or email

The Willcox can be reached by calling 803-648-1898 or visiting