Dec 4, 2019
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Toys for Tots returns to Aqueduct Racetrack on Cigar Mile Day

by NYRA Press Office

Annual weekend of giving set for Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8
Cookies and Cocoa with Santa on December 7

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) is pleased to announce the return of its annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation weekend of giving at Aqueduct Racetrack on Cigar Mile Day, Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8.

A holiday tradition at Aqueduct, Toys for Tots will collect new, unwrapped toys, cash contributions, and checks made payable to Toys for Tots, with donation boxes located at the main Clubhouse entrance and the Turf and Field entrance.

"It's a privilege for NYRA to partner with the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Foundation to brighten the holidays for children throughout New York City and across Long Island," said Vanessa Rodriguez, NYRA Community Relations Manager. "New York racing fans and our employees have generously supported Toys for Tots each and every year, and we are pleased to encourage that giving spirit again in 2019."

In addition to NYRA's donations, Toys for Tots is supported by generous contributions from the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NYTHA), thoroughbred owners Harold Lerner and Salvatore Sano, and trainer Gary Contessa.

"NYTHA is proud to support the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Foundation and the work they do to bring joy to children," said NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum. "Our horsemen are a vital part of our local communities, and we strongly believe it is our responsibility to support our neighbors in need not only during the holidays, but all year round."

Saturday's festivities will also include the opportunity to enjoy Cookies and Cocoa with Santa, who will be stationed on the first floor of Aqueduct providing free hot cocoa, cookie decorating and a variety of games and activities.

The annual Stocking Stuffer sale at Aqueduct will be offered on December 7 with past giveaway items on sale to the public to benefit Toys for Tots. The Stocking Stuffer sale will continue on Saturday, December 14.

"Putting a smile on the face of a child who may not otherwise receive a gift this holiday season is a priceless feeling," said Lerner. "I hope that these acts of kindness will inspire the children receiving the gifts to go on to do great things, knowing that there is a community that cares about them."

Contessa will again be making a donation to Toys for Tots.

"Toys for Tots is not only a great way to give back this holiday season, but it is a great way to honor our military and the Marines who have been operating this great program for more than 70 years," said Contessa. "I am proud to have supported Toys for Tots for more than a decade in a variety of ways, and I'm thrilled to be able to express my support this year."

Cigar Mile Day features a special first post of 11:30 a.m. with gates open to the public at 10:30 a.m.

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