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Volunteers pull out stops for foster children

January 04, 2013

The Annual Foster Children’s Holiday party celebrated its 25th anniversary in early December. A favorite volunteering tradition among Boston-area alumni, the event was helmed by a ten-member committee of alumni, staff, and friends of the university, and they worked hard to pull out all of the stops. The party hosted more than 115 foster children and their families who were treated to books, balloon animals, Bhangra performances, and more.

Volunteers at Wrap Night

The buzz began days earlier at Wrap Night, where 35 alumni, students, and staff met in Alumnae Lounge to prep hundreds of books and presents for the party. When Wrap Night wrapped up, Coach Casey and the Tufts baseball team carried all of the gifts to a new location where they would wait for the big day. Members of the team then returned on the morning of the event to deliver the presents to Santa for the children.

The Tufts baseball team was tireless at Wrap Night

Alumnae Hall and the Balch Arena lobby provided a winter wonderland for the children as they skipped from station to station: decorating cookies, spinning dreidels, curling up in the Book Nook, high-fiving Jumbo at the photo spot, or settling in for the performance showcase—a new addition to the party.

Stocked with stellar student groups, the showcase started with a bang from step team BlackOut, followed by a cappella group sQ!, the Jumbo Jugglers, and Tufts Bhangra. Earlier in the day, Traveling Treasure Trunk delighted kids with lively skits and magician Darren Yong wowed with tricks. Kim Nguyen Marturano, A07, also masterfully created balloon animals.

No child left empty-handed. Presents were piled high along with free pajamas. And thanks to Hugh Roome III, F77, AG74, FG80, A11P, and Scholastic Books, Got Books!, and Big-Hearted Books, there was a wide range of books to take home. Any leftover books were donated to Children’s Hospital and the Medford Family Life shelter.

The committee also rallied many local organizations to donate time and goods, many of whom are long-standing supporters of the cause. Joseph’s Limousine provided shuttle service from Medford Family Life to campus. Bertucci’s and Pepsi decked the dining tables with pizza and beverages. J.P. Licks set up a sundae bar. Faith the Cookie Lady, as she’s affectionately known, laid out dozens of bare sugar cookies and toppings for decorating. And Stephanie Hsu created a confectionary delight: a three-tiered Tufts cake donned with Jumbos.

The Office of Alumni Relations would like to give a special thanks to the committee for organizing a spectacular anniversary celebration that filled these families with holiday cheer:

Back row, from left: Christine Conlon, J93, committee co-chair Scott Reed, E79, Jonathan Burton, Marilyn Smith, Judy Hyatt, Lisa Richtmann, J97, and Samantha Snitow, A04. From row, from left: Committee co-chair Dan Kaplan, A96, Barry Kauffman, A07, Mike Stone, A07, and Kim Nguyen, E07, EG09.