Clubs, departments and offices from across campus rang in the holiday season Thursday during SUNY Broome’s 21st annual Giving of the Toys.
Each group took turns clambering down the Baldwin Gym bleachers, lugging boxes and sacks of toys and games. Advising and Counseling staff wheeled bicycles across the gym floor, while Intramural Director Tom Carter snuck two gigantic teddy bears on stage. Santa was nearly buried under an avalanche of volleyballs as SUNY Broome athletes gathered to make their contributions.
The toys are given to Broome County Toys for Tots, run by area police departments since 1962. The program distributes more than 4,000 presents to more than 4,000 children and families each year.
As is tradition, many departments and clubs donated toys that represented their focus. The Anime Club donated Pokemon toys, while Public Safety brought police- and fire-themed items. Sports teams donated the various tools of their trade from volleyballs to soccer balls, while the Physical Therapist Assistant Club brought toys designed to improve motor skills.
And of course, there were educational toys and games, puzzles and items that were just plain fun, from Peppa Pig and dinosaurs to a giant stuffed unicorn and Pegasus from Admissions.
Thee SUNY Broome Choir sang a lovely rendition of “Hark, Hear the Bells,” while the American Sign Language Club signed several carols, including “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” Students also enjoyed free holiday cocoa and doughnuts as they watched the holiday merriment ensue.
Music therapy major Jessica Hranek decided to bring gifts on her own: a doll and a LEGO set.
“It’s going to be a huge success!” she said of the event as she enjoyed a cup of cocoa with marshmallows.
Volleyball team member Rayna Pouliot arrived at the Baldwin Gym a little early as she waited for her teammates. Some of her gifts included stuffed animals, a sticker and stamp set and Hot Wheels – all guaranteed to make children happy on Christmas morning.
“It’s cool to see everyone donate for a good cause,” the Sports Management major said.