Tech N9ne joins Santa’s Wonderland celebration to give toys to KC kids

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An annual tradition for many families at 12th Street and Brooklyn Avenue included a celebrity guest appearance Wednesday night. Kansas City's own Tech N9ne was on stage for a free concert before the toy giveaway.

Tech N9ne hit the stores this week and helped 12th Street Heritage Development Corporation fill its tables with 1,000 toys.

"When we found out they were literally going to have kids lining up, nearly 1,000 of them, we were like 'Oh yeah, that's right up our alley. We have to do this. We have to be involved,'" Strange Music President and CEO Travis O'Guin said.

"Its a beautiful thing to be able to come back and give back with my music and with everything else you see here," Tech N9ne said.

Growing up just three blocks away from the stage where he performed hits like "KCMO Anthem," Tech N9ne knows the struggles of many of the families who waited hours in the cold so they'd have at least one gift to put under the tree.

"We have a big family, and sometimes we can not afford to buy for each kid a toy, and this is something they really enjoy," mother Olivia Chamas said.

"I lived it, from birth to 10 years old down here -- even when we moved to Midtown -- it was poverty stricken, but we found a way to make it through," Tech N9ne said. "That's what I'm here to show people. If I can do it, you can do it, too."

Twelfth Street has hosted Santa's Wonderland for 23 years with help from the Gates Family and annual fundraisers.

"For just one night we want to make these kids feel like they are superstars," said Dwayne Williams, president and CEO of the 12th Street Heritage Development Corporation.

This year they had a superstar's help, who says wherever he goes, he takes a piece of Kansas City with him.

"I think it's great he supports his city. A lot of rappers and singers don`t support their city, so he will always have my support," mother Samiah Jackson said.