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Youth Basketball Association’s Yard Clean Up Efforts, Food Drive Successful

The Newtown Youth Basketball (NYBA) family is at it again. In efforts to achieve “Sportsmanship with Citizenship” the NYBA representatives have been doing everything they can to help out the community. They have held food drives, raked leaves, and hosted an event at a high school game for senior citizens.

Newtown High School freshman Tom Cotton recently led a group of a like-minded individuals in an effort to help give back to the town as part of his school community service work. Cotton gathered players, coaches, and parents from five youth basketball travel teams to help participate in the efforts to give back.

This group of 50 volunteers raked leaves and cleared fallen branches for residents to help them prepare for the winter.

“It was a fun way for everyone to give back and want to continue to help out in the future,” Cotton said.

Cotton said his main inspiration for heading the community service movement was a work camp in Pittsburgh that he went to over the summer. He wanted to pass on the compassion to his community here in Newtown and the youth basketball organization provided the ideal outlet.

“Seeing the joy on people’s faces after they saw what we did really made it worthwhile,” Cotton added.

These local travel teams worked efficiently to clean up yards at four residences. The group  set out to help the elderly and people living alone. This display of kindness acted as a great team building exercise and served as a great inspiration to these student-athletes.

Cotton said that he planned to continue to give back in many ways and help the lives of as many people as possible.

“Tom is doing an amazing thing and I am so glad that there were so many other people quick to help and join Tom in this process. I’m so proud of everyone who participated,” NYBA Vice President of Administration David Hamula said.

Hamula also explained how this act of kindness will open the door for children to have more opportunities to give back to the town.

“My hope is that more and more people will follow in Tom’s footsteps and show everyone that giving back is fun and easy,” Hamula said.

The NYBA, this past weekend, continued its sportsmanship efforts with its annual Food Drive to benefit the Morning Glory Breakfast program at the Dorothy Day House in Danbury. NYBA participants collected more than 800 food items, exceeding last year’s total.

“What we do off the court is as important as what we do on the court,” Hamula said.

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