FORT SMITH (KFSM)--There's no denying that the University of Arkansas Fort Smith’s annual Toy Toss game is a spectacle.
"You’ve got to see it for yourself to see what happens. It does so much good and helps the kids here in the area and with the Salvation Army," local couple Sharon and Mike Daniels said.
In eight years, over 30,000 toys have been collected for children in the Fort Smith area.
"And the guys that’ve been here have collected tens of thousands of toys, and to reflect on that later is gonna be very special in their life," Lions head coach Josh Newman said.
"All the toys and stuff, everybody’s getting involved and it’s just a close knit community and they’re real behind us," senior Ladarius Coleman said.
While Toy Toss gets all the publicity, its Newman's goal to get the Lions out into the community on a regular basis throughout the year.
"Not even just with this, coach is very very into the community," said senior Davaunta Thomas. "You know, we go reading two times a month actually on top of classes and practice and everything."
"Probably the most touching thing for me is, when we go to these elementary schools and these kids are taking nice gently used toys from their closet to give to someone else," coach Newman said. "And I think the gift of giving is truly what this is all about."
Veterans like Thomas always look forward to getting showered in stuffed animals.
"And then seeing all those toys come down and having the boy scouts come them up, it’s a good thing to be a part of," added Thomas.
"There’s kind of been a ripple effect now. It’s in Missouri, it’s in Oklahoma, it’s something that’s really taken fire and it’s fantastic. It’s an event that I think touches so many different lives," Newman summed up.
6,850 toys were collected today at the Stubblefield Center. On a different note, the Lions won again to extended their program best start to 10-0.