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Bville-Bernards Police Collect Toys For Local Children

Police from both towns collect toys at annual holiday party and drop them off at the Somerset Hills YMCA.

Some local children whose families are members of the will have police officers from Bernardsville and Bernards Township to thank this holiday for gifts that those police departments collected at their annual holiday party last weekend.

The toys will be distributed to children whose families are members of the YMCA, and who receive membership subsidies and other financial assistance, said Andrea Williams, spokeswoman for the YMCA.

The donated gifts were dropped off at the YMCA in Basking Ridge on Monday, after being collected at the joint holiday party held last weekend by Bernardsville PBA 365 and Bernards Township PBA 357, said Patrol Officer Ray Gizienski of the

This is the first year the PBAs decided to conduct a toy drive rather than just making a contribution to another organization that provides holiday gifts for children in need, Gizienski said. "We wanted to make the [donations] more community oriented," he said.

There are people in the Somerset Hills area who do need help if they are going to give their children gifts, he said. "In this economy, it doesn't matter where you live."

The YMCA's Mirna Mazick, financial assistance coordinator at the YMCA, said the first children on the list are those whose families qualify for 100 percent assistance to belong to the YMCA.

In a separate effort, the YMCA lobby also held a "giving tree" where members could select gifts to give to someone in need.

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