Brandon Sanchez, 8, of San Bernardino picks out his gifts on Thursday during the  Annual Holiday Toy Giveaway at the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Bernardino
Brandon Sanchez, 8, of San Bernardino picks out his gifts on Thursday during the Annual Holiday Toy Giveaway at the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Bernardino in San Bernardino. (LaFonzo Carter/ Staff Photographer)
More than 1,000 children and their parents lined up on a chilly Thursday afternoon at the Boys & Girls Club of San Bernardino.

The occasion was the nonprofit's annual toy giveaway, followed by a Candle Lighting Ceremony in memory of the 26 lives lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy.

"We thought the candle lighting was the right thing to do," said A. Majadi, president and CEO at the local organization.

The ceremony began at 5:30 p.m., consistent with other candle lighting ceremonies scheduled across Southern California.

Families were required to have pre-registered and have ID for the giveaway, Majadi said.

Last year's event also attracted 1,000 young people and this year's total was expected to surpass that.

Juana Jaequez,9, of San Bernardino looks at photographs of the 26 victims from the Sandy Hook Elementary School during a candle-lighting ceremony on
Juana Jaequez,9, of San Bernardino looks at photographs of the 26 victims from the Sandy Hook Elementary School during a candle-lighting ceremony on Thursday at the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Bernardino in San Bernardino. (LaFonzo Carter/ Staff Photographer)

"In the first couple of days of registration, we had more than 400 kids on the list," he said.

Toys were donated and collected, with help from the West Side Action Group and McDonald's in Colton.

Mia Paul, 8, of San Bernardino waited, hoping for a doll.

She was excited, she said. It was her first year at the toy giveaway.

Mia's mother, Zondra Graham, a volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club, had also brought her two sons to volunteer. Sons Deandre Graham Jr., 16, and Amare Graham, 13, were assisting children with their selections in the toy room.

"This is a wonderful thing for the kids," Zondra Graham said.

"We encouraged community members to come support this year's event as we celebrate the youth who are here and remember those who are gone," Majadi said.