The produce section of the Calhoun Walmart doubled as a concert hall on Thursday as the United Way of Gordon County hosted choral groups from each of the local schools during the Singing for Toys event.

The annual musical show is part of an AdventhHealth Gordon EMS toy drive that benefits the Voluntary Action Center. Donald Bowen and Gloria Holden were manning the donation box outside of Walmart on Thursday, and they said that anyone who missed the event can still donate Friday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the same location.

“It’s been a little slow today, but last weekend went really well,” said Holden.

The event was hosted by the United Way and saw a new set of students performing every half hour beginning at 9 a.m. United Way Executive Director Jennifer Latour said Singing for Toys has been taking place for at least 20 years that the local Walmart is the only one in the country that regularly hosts such an event.

“It’s been a long-running partnership and it’s awesome,” said Latour.

The VAC is one of the partners that benefits from the United Way’s annual campaign, and the toys and money raised through the toy drive helped as many as 800 area children last year.

Bekah Kirby, director of community relations and accounting for the United Way of Gordon County, said many of the school choral groups were scheduled to leave Walmart and perform at other places around town. Others have Christmas concerts come up soon, and several were performing their routines for the first time Thursday.

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