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Maine family honors son's memory by collecting, donating toys

The Wezowicz family lost their 9-year-old son Elias to mitochondrial disease in 2015.

PORTLAND (WGME) – A Maine family is honoring their son's memory by making a difference for other children this Christmas.

The Wezowicz family lost their 9-year-old son Elias to mitochondrial disease in 2015.

Shortly before he passed away, Elias and his dad had a simple conversation.

It led to this mission to collect thousands of toys every year since Elias died, for the "Joy of Sharing" campaign.

"He really just wished that every kid could have a toy from Santa on Christmas morning,” Joel Wezowicz said. “And shortly after he passed away it was something we really wanted to do in his memory and we started doing it."

This Friday night, there will be a special event at Rira's in Portland where people can donate toys in Elias's memory.

It's from 6 to 9 p.m., and there will be silent auction items to bid on, as well.

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