NC State’s biggest elves went on a shopping spring Wednesday afternoon at a Cary department store, as five Wolfpack football players took the money raised at Saturday night’s basketball game against Wake Forest to buy gifts for Triangle children in need.
Fans at the basketball game donated $8,432 and some 1,000 unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine Reserves’ Toys For Tots program, which collects and distributes moderately priced toys during the holiday season to provide gifts for those who might not otherwise have any for the holidays. For the last decade, Wolfpack football and athletics and sponsor Coca Cola have actively participated in soliciting toys and cash donations for kids in the Triangle and surrounding areas.
It was a big week for the football program, as second-year coach Dave Doeren and his squad, after posting a 7-5 regular-season record, accepted a bid on Sunday to play Central Florida on Dec. 26 in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg (Fla.) Bowl.
Players Niklas Sade, Bryan Underwood, Jack Tocho, Juston Burris, Josh Sessoms and Hakim Jones joined Doeren and Santa Claus at midcourt during halftime of the basketball game to give away bicycles to area kids.
Wednesday at the Target at the Crossroads shopping center, players Rob Crisp, Hakim Jones, Scott Thompson, T.Y. McGill and Dayton Santos joined several Marine volunteers to fill nearly a dozen shopping carts with popular toys, from all things “Frozen” to action figures to remote-control cars.
Faculty and staff looking to brighten the holidays for area kids can drop off unwrapped toys at numerous locations around campus or make an on-line cash contribution to the local Toys For Tots program. The Faculty Senate-sponsored toy drive runs through Monday, Dec. 15.