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It’s easy to understand the connection between Brian Simpson and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Four days after his son Mason was born last New Year’s Eve he was diagnosed with Craniosynostosis, a rare condition in which the sutures of the skull prematurely fuse.  At just eight months old in August he underwent Cranial Vault Reconstructive Neuro/Plastic Surgery at CHOP.  The procedure was a success, Mason is doing great and he’ll soon celebrate his 1st birthday.

However, the experience at CHOP, in which so many kids are dealing with serious health issues, left a lasting impression on Simpson who is the head coach of the Freehold Boro/Raritan/Colts Neck Ice Hockey team.  Like many other programs in the Shore Conference, they are part of a co-op (on in this case a tri-op) in which schools merge together to form teams.

So Simpson decided he wanted to give back to CHOP and get his team involved in a holiday toy drive to benefit patients in the hospital.  He mentioned this to some of his fellow coaches around the shore and they asked if their teams could participate.  Before he knew it over 20 Shore Conference teams made up of more than 30 high schools had joined in to launch what will hopefully become an annual event.

From December 7-15 there will be 14 games played around the shore at which spectators are asked to bring items from CHOP’s Donation Wish List.   Everything from electronics, art supplies, gift cards and more for infants, toddlers, and adolescents.  Simpson has made arrangements in which all the toys collected will be dropped off on December 16 in time for the holidays which are especially difficult for families with children who are hospitalized.

Hockey is a very competitive sport but the Shore Conference Coaches Association is coming together in December in an effort that ensures everyone is a winner.

Here are the items they are looking to collect and the games they will be taking donations: 

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