The force was with them when an employee at Tucows noticed earlier this year the domain name DarthVader.com was set to expire and the company grabbed it up.
“Domain names come up that should rightfully belong to a particular brand or intellectual property,” said Michael Goldstein of Tucows Inc., a global Internet services company. They contacted George Lucas’ Lucasfilm Ltd. and gave them the DarthVader.com domain name, free of charge, in exchange for a donation to the Tucows’s annual Elves Project.
“It was cool. We have such sci-fi geeks at our company that everyone was just thrilled that we were such heroes,” Goldstein said. “It is a good example of global industries working together for local causes.”
Each year employees at Tucows host a toy drive for the Parkdale Early Learning Centre on Close Avenue.
They raise the money to purchase toys through the regular channels: bake sales, barbecues and interoffice carolling. But this year, the toy drive got a major boost thanks to the donation by Lucasfilms.
“We’re thrilled to be the new owners of DarthVader.com,” said Miles Perkins, spokesperson for Lucasfilm, “and we are even more excited about supporting such a worthy cause.”
On Dec. 18, Goldstein and his co-worker Debbie Browning delivered about $3,000 worth of toys to the Parkdale Early Learning Centre.
There were nearly 200 toys, bags of action figures, stuffed animals, board games, gift cards and, of course, lots of Star Wars merchandise.
“There is something special about being able to come over to the centre and interact and bring the toys. It makes it more meaningful,” Goldstein said.
The Parkdale Early Learning Centre is one of five early learning centres run by Child Development Institute. It provides subsidized child care for families in need of assistance in the Parkdale neighbourhood.
Sophia Creary, the child-care director at the Parkdale Early Learning Centre, explained the centre is a not-for profit centre that offers high quality care for 49 children, from birth to six years of age.
The children are from the diverse neighbourhood of south Parkdale and Creary said it is traditionally a higher need community.
“The parents take the gifts home and many of them save them for Christmas morning because they want it to be a surprise,” she said.
“They are all very grateful for (the toys). For some of the families it is the main gift the children will receive,” Creary added.
Where possible, the children’s siblings are also given a gift and gift cards so they too will have a nice present on Christmas morning.
“Child Development Institute is pleased to once again be chosen as a recipient for the Tucows Elves Project, and we are very grateful for their support,” said Tony Diniz, CEO of CDI. “The toys and gifts delivered today will help make the holiday season brighter for the children and families at our Parkdale Early Learning Centre.”