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Annual Toy Shopping Sets Up Smiles

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
WOBURN, Mass. -- The Boston Bruins holiday shopping excursion is a staple on the Black & Gold calendar and Patrice Bergeron, who took the reigns from former B's forward P.J. Axelsson is thrilled to continue the tradition.

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"I told Kerry [Collins, Bruins Director of Community Relations] that I wanted to take over...because I think it's something that the kids enjoy," said Bergeron before he started his walk through of Woburn's Target department store. "It's something that's very important for the community."

Bruins legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque started the player holiday toy shopping and delivery tradition when he was captain, while defenseman Hal Gill and forward P.J. Axelsson continued it.

This is the second season for Bergeron as the point man for the players, who bought toys that will be given as gifts to children who are unable celebrate the holidays at home.

The Bruins players donated $10,000 and the Boston Bruins Foundation matched that amount and Target added $2,500 for a grand total of $22,500 worth of toys.

Each player was provided a shopping wish list from the hospitals receiving the donation.

"It's very special to give back to the community like that," said Bergeron. "Especially to kids.

"These kids might not spend Christmas with their families -- they are going to be at the hospital.

"I think this is something that we have to do and it's in our power to do it and it's easy for us to come here and donate some money and raise some shop," he said.

Next week the B's will make their trek to local hospitals to pass out the gifts.

"The delivery is even more fun, to be honest with you," added the Bruins alternate captain. "To see the kids' reaction is just something special."

Bergeron also said that he feels that it is important to set a good example.

"I think so," he said. "And I think we're in a situation where we're seen in the media and on TV sometimes.

"We're trying good role models for kids and I think it starts by giving back to the community."

The Bruins will deliver the toys on Dec. 21st.
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