Students, faculty and alumni gathered in Crocker Grove recently for the annual Tree of Hope Lighting, which kicks off the holiday giving season at Framingham State.
“This is the 5th annual lighting ceremony,” Framingham State President Timothy Flanagan told the crowd that gathered to watch the lighting. “It marks the end of the fall semester and is a good time to take stock of everything we’ve accomplished since the semester began.”
Those in attendance enjoyed hot cocoa, cookies and performances by the Framingham State chorus and the Bells Angels of the First Parish of Framingham. Framingham State alumnae Kathie Hebden ’70 brought her granddaughter out for the festivities. “I think it’s a great event to get you in the holiday spirit,” Hebden said. “I really enjoyed the bell ringers.”
Dozens of new toys collected on campus were donated to the U.S. Marine Toys for Tots program during the ceremony. The toys will be distributed to local children this holiday season. “I’m very proud of the relationship we’ve established with Toys for Tots,” Flanagan said. President Flanagan also presented Lance Cpl. Scott Carey and Cpl. Joseph Conley with a check for $825 for the Toys for Tots program.
“We rely entirely on donations and events like this to operate the program and bring in the toys so we can distribute them to kids in the community,” Conley said. “We really appreciate the people at Framingham State for stepping up and helping out.”
The University will continue collecting toys through Friday, Dec. 9. Anyone wishing to donate a new, unwrapped toy may drop one off in one of the boxes located in the McCarthy Center, the Whittemore Library, the Advancement House and with the Office of the President.