Andrew Klarman, a senior at said his initial reaction when heard the news about Friday’s school shooting in Newtown was grief for the families who lost children. “I felt awful for the families,” he commented.
Then, Klarman said he decided to act. “I thought it would be really nice to get some of my toys over to Newtown,” he said.
Klarman had planned a toy drive to benefit the Branford Counseling Center, who matches more than 400 individuals with holiday gifts during the Christmas season each year. Through the generous donations of those in town – the 2nd Annual Christmas Caddy and the FPGG Scavenger Hunt to name a few – the Counseling Center has lots of toys already, so Klarman said he decided to donate to the children of Newtown instead.
Klarman and his family will be collecting unwrapped toys Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. at BHS when the Branford boys basketball team faces the Daniel Hand Tigers of Madison. The Branford High School Athletic Department has also agreed to accept monetary donations in lieu of game admission to be given to Newtown.
Klarman, a BHS football player who will play football for Middlebury College in Vermont next year, plays center for the BHS basketball squad and planned the toy drive as part of his senior project.
Klarman hails from a tight-knit family and has been exposed to death from a young age, as his father is an owner of W.S. Clancy Funeral Home here in Branford. He said his father has told him how difficult preparing a funeral for baby or child can be. “Just to think, there is 20 of them and 20 families going through this. It’s awful,” he said.
Klarman hopes the toys he collects at BHS will bring some happiness to the children of Newtown. Please bring unwrapped toys and or new teddy bears to be donated,
Klarman is also looking forward to the game and hoping for a victory after recently falling 35 to 37 against Guilford. Anticipated to be another close one, Klarman said, “Hopefully we can put out the W!”
Patch will also be collecting new teddy bears at the game as part of a southeastern Connecticut Patch drive Operation Snuggle Newtown to help the Newtown community. You can also drop off teddy bears at W.S. Clancy Funeral at 244 N. Main St., Branford during the week until Thursday, Dec. 20 at 2 p.m and at Studio B Brow Bar at 118 Montowese St., Branford.