NFA Community Runs for a Good Cause

Karen Lau, Staff Writer

Reindeers on their mark, get set, run! Every year, the Tommy Toy Fund Santa Run is held to benefit families in need of Christmas presents. On December 1, hundreds participated in the 1.5 mile run through the streets of Downtown Norwich. The annual event was held at Billy Wilson’s Ageing Still.

NFA athletes are a big part of making the Tommy Toy Fund Santa Run a huge success. Every year, members of the boys and girls track and soccer teams volunteer.

“[The Tommy Toy Fund Run] collects toys for the kids whose parents can’t afford toys for Christmas and gives them something to look forward to. It puts everyone in a good mood and brings everybody together,” said ninth grader Natalia Hogan

NFA coaches Jaclyn Sullivan and Liz Schuberth have both been participating in the run since they were in high school.

“[The fund run] gives an opportunity for young children in the community to be able to have Christmas gifts,” said Sullivan.  She hopes students will enjoy the experience and learn that helping others is a positive experience.

 Schuberth added, “[The run] benefits all the kids who may not have a lot at home and the families who do not have enough.” She hopes students will help others and be there for everybody.

 Kara Kochanski, NFA girls cross country and outdoor track coach, hopes students will gain life-long experiences.

“So many girls [on the NFA cross country team] came out for this event, and it’s amazing. I think every community should get together in the spirit of giving, especially at this time of year, to give to the disadvantaged,” commented Kochanski.

Several NFA alumni also volunteered at the Tommy Toy Fund Santa Run.

Class of ’81 graduate, Meg Ceccarelli’s family has participated for 20 years. 

“It’s so special that everybody gets together as a town, contributes gifts to unfortunate kids, and has fun doing it. It’s important to give to the less fortunate year round,” said Ceccarelli.

Aldean Minor, Class of ‘73, agreed, “It’s a very special local event. We like to participate in the run because it’s a great cause. We are so fortunate to have what we have, and others are not so lucky.”

While NFA athletes and alumni give back to the community during the holiday season, thousands of local children benefit from the Tommy Toy Santa Fund Run.