Monday, December 1, 2014

"Toys for Tots" returns to Aqueduct Racetrack on December 6-7


December 1, 2014

Contact: Najja Thompson
(718) 659-2244



"Toys for Tots" returns to Aqueduct Racetrack on December 6-7



OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association, in partnership with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, thoroughbred owner Harold Lerner, and trainers Gary Contessa, Rick Schosberg and Linda Rice, will host its annual "Toys for Tots" campaign on December 6 and 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Contessa, Rice and Schosberg will be donating part of their horses' earnings on Saturday to Toys for Tots, which collects and distributes new, unwrapped toys to children in need each holiday season. Lerner will be making a $10,000 contribution towards this year's campaign.

"I've been committed to this program for about five years," said Lerner. "I was initially introduced to it by my trainer Gary Contessa, who has been contributing part of his earnings to "Toys for Tots" on a Saturday in the past four years. I really believe in anything you can do for kids that unfortunately get left behind in the holiday season. It's a wonderful thing to put a smile on their faces."


By donating new, unwrapped toys, cash, or checks made payable to "Toys for Tots," racing fans can join in to spread holiday cheer to some of the 16 million children living in poverty in the United States.

Collection boxes will be located at the Big A's main clubhouse entrance and the Turf and Field entrance on both Saturday and Sunday. All donations will be distributed throughout the Greater Metropolitan Area.


In recognition of the spirit of giving, three races on Saturday's card at Aqueduct will be named for organizations involved with the effort: Race 3 will be named for Gateway Youth Outreach, which receives some of the donated items; Race 4 will be named for Toys for Tots, and Race 5 will be named in honor of the United States Marine Corps Reserves, which runs the program.


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 2013, nearly 1.7 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.


About The 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 2013, 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.. For more information, visit


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