AUBURN, Mass. – The Auburn High School indoor track and field team and the Police Department are teaming up this holiday season to collect toys for the community's families in need.
The team will hold a toy drive over the next couple of weeks in collaboration with the Auburn Police Association, according to Karyn Ferdella, head coach of the track team, and Det. Sgt. Jeffrey Lourie.
“We’ve been distributing toys to families in need for over 20 years,” Lourie said. “It’s a great thing to help those in need. Every child should have presents to open on Christmas morning.”
The athletes will collect toys at five home sports events before Christmas – three boys basketball games, on Dec. 14, 18 and 21, and two boys hockey games, on Dec. 15 and 19.
At the Dec. 18 basketball game against Southbridge High School, Athletic Director William Garneau will allow Auburn students to attend the game free if they present a new or gently-used, unwrapped toy at the door.
“Students are being encouraged to dress up in holiday-themed attire and really get the crowd in the holiday spirit,” Ferdella said. “Our kids will also be in the crowds at the various games doing some PR and talking up the toy drive. They are getting very excited for this project.”
The team will run 50/50 raffles during the games for additional gifts and supplies, and team members will also help the police wrap and deliver gifts.
Lourie said the police department receives anonymous calls about families in need. If anyone wants to call the police station and provide the name of a family, call 508-832-7777 and ask for Stacy Fitzgerald.