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"Toys for Tots" marks Spirit of Giving weekend at Aqueduct Dec. 7-8

By Jenny Kellner | 11/27/2013 03:12 PM ET

A holiday tradition will continue at Aqueduct Racetrack on December 7-8 when The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will host its annual Spirit of Giving weekend, featuring the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign.
Racing fans can spread holiday cheer to some of the 16 million children living in poverty in the United States by donating new, unwrapped toys, cash, or checks made payable to Toys for Tots. Donation boxes will be located at the Big A's main clubhouse entrance and the Turf and Field entrance on both Saturday and Sunday.
Thoroughbred owner Harold Lerner once again will contribute $10,000 to the campaign and trainer Gary Contessa will donate 10 percent of whatever his horses earn on Sunday, December 8.
The Toys for Tots program collects and distributes new, unwrapped toys to children in need each holiday season. 
About The New York Racing Association, Inc.
NYRA's mission is "Meeting the highest standards in thoroughbred racing and equine safety." Founded in 1955, and franchised to run thoroughbred racing at New York's three major tracks (Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course) through 2033, NYRA boasts a lineage that actually stretches back almost 150 years. NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of the state's thoroughbred business which contributes more than $2 billion annually to New York State's urban, suburban and rural economy. In 2012, nearly 1.8 million people attended the live races at NYRA tracks. Factoring in nationwide off-track wagering, the average daily betting handle on NYRA races totals more than $9 million. NYRA has a vast network of websites, including nyra.com, belmontstakes.com and nyragroupsales.com. You can also follow NYRA on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
About Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not for profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Now in its 66th year, Toys for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to economically disadvantaged children through the gift of a new toy during the Christmas holiday season. Their gifts offer these children recognition and a positive memory they will cherish for a lifetime. Many of the gifts they provide, such as books, games and sports equipment, make a significant contribution to the educational, social and physical development of these children. In 2012, Marines distributed gifts to 7.1 million children in 740 communities nationwide. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation relies on individual donations from the American public as well as support from corporate sponsors, including Duracell. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.