Spreading holiday cheer one shoot at a time

Naugatuck firefighter Rich Tavares, left, and Anthony Recchia Jr., coordinator of the toy drive for the High Rock Shooting Association showoff some of the toys collected over the past two weekends Saturday. KEN MORSE

NAUGATUCK — The High Rock Shooting Association joined efforts with the Naugatuck Fire Department to spread holiday cheer to local youths.

Over the past two weekends, the association and department teamed up to hold a toy drive to benefit the Naugatuck Youth Services program.

This is the first year the two organizations came together to collect toys explained Naugatuck Firefighter Rich Tavares, who is also a board member of the shooting association and helped to organize the drive.

The fire department is no stranger when it comes to helping out organizations that benefit the Naugatuck Youth Services program, Tavares said, and the department wanted to make sure this holiday season any drive it did went to benefit the local community.

“There are so many organizations out there to benefit children especially at this time of year but we wanted to keep this local to benefit those in our community,” Tavares said.

The High Rock Shooting Association under the direction of President Ray Hanley and Vice President Ken Heidkamp work hard throughout the year raising funds for worthy programs. This is the first year that the HRSA has ventured into the spirit of the season and held a toy drive.

“We are very pleased with the results of this drive,” said Anthony Recchia Jr., who coordinated the toy drive for the shooting association.

Anyone who donated a toy with a value of $5 or more Dec. 17 or Dec. 10 received a free shoot for one hour. The club also donated the entire cash receipts of the days along with contributions. In total, the association raised close to $1,200 dollars.

“That money will be used by the Naugatuck Youth Services to buy toys for older children,” Recchia said. “We generally get a lot of toys for the younger ones and not enough for the older kids. That’s why the donations are so important to spread the holiday cheer to every child in need during this Christmas season.”

Based on the encouraging results of this year’s campaign, the association is looking at making it an annual event.

“For the club members being part of something this special really puts everyone in the Christmas spirit,” Recchia said. “We have even had discussions of next year working with local groups to hold food drives as well.”