Blue Hill—While rival teams duked it out on the court, there was an undercurrent of cooperation and holiday cheer among those in attendance at the December 11 GSA vs. Bucksport girls basketball game.
The Lady Eagles had asked people to bring toys for needy families in place of money for admission, and around half of those who came happily obliged—some even lugging multiple toys to donate, according to organizers and GSA team co-captains Megan Nowland and Alice Dillon.
Regular admission money was used to buy more toys, and all the treasure was distributed to youngsters in time for Christmas via the Toys for Tots program, run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve.
Nowland said of her team’s involvement, “This had everything to do with giving back…and showing who we are as people.”
Toys for Tots’ Amanda Rideout was happy with the cache of toys collected.
“It’s been a rough year,” she said, citing that donations have been down and demand for toys has been up.
“We’ve been struggling to meet our goals this year, so [the Eagles] have done a great thing,” she said. “These gifts will go far.”
Rideout added that this was the first time a group from Blue Hill had collected gifts for Toys for Tots since she has been a regional coordinator, to her knowledge.
It likely won’t be the last.
Parent and volunteer organizer Amy Nowland said the girls want to make it an annual event.
“I’m hoping this happens every year,” she said, adding, “It was a pretty good haul for the first time.”
Amy Nowland expressed her appreciation for the generosity of people in the community.
And folks from Bucksport brought gifts, too, she said.