FORT SMITH – Christmas will once again be a little merrier for the children of families in need in the River Valley area thanks to the generosity of the UAFS men’s basketball team and its fans.
Each season, the Lions are involved in a variety of community engagement projects throughout the River Valley, and for the ninth season in a row, they will host their popular Toy Toss Game to benefit the children of families in need during the Christmas season.
The Toy Toss Game will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, when the Lions host the Randall Saints in a nonconference game at the Stubblefield Center.
Fans are encouraged to bring a new or slightly used soft toy to the game, and when the Lions score their first point of the game, they are asked to toss their toys onto the court in celebration. The toys will then be collected and later delivered to the local Salvation Army, which will distribute the toys to children of families in need for Christmas.
Last season, UAFS collected 6,850 toys through the Toy Toss game, sponsors and the Media Challenge in the weeks leading up to the game. To date, the Toy Toss Game has accounted for 38,104 toys for children of families in need in the area.
The inaugural Toy Toss Game was held in 2010. Since then, the first-ever event of its kind has received recognition from the Heartland Conference and NCAA Division II and has received national media attention from ESPN to CBS Sports to Fox Sports.
This event has grown in popularity each year with more and more public schools, colleges and universities embracing the idea and holding their own Toy Toss Game to help various children’s groups in their communities.