Bruins purchase gifts at Saugus Walmart for hospitalized kids

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Mike Gaffney saugus@wickedlocal.com @saugusnews

Boston Bruins players pushed carriages up and down the aisles at the Saugus Walmart Friday in search of the perfect gifts for hospitalized children.

Each the year the entire Boston Bruins roster participates in a holiday toy shopping event to benefit kids in hospitals who are unable to celebrate the holidays at home.

This marked the second consecutive year the Bruins chose the Saugus Walmart to purchase presents for youths. Players wore their jerseys — and Santa hats — as Walmart associates helped them pick out items for children of all ages.

All of the gifts were purchased using donations from players and the Boston Bruins Foundation. After practice next Wednesday, the players will deliver the presents to more than 600 children spread between seven different hospitals in the Boston area.

The holiday toy shopping tradition was started by former Bruins defenseman Ray Bourque. Center Patrice Bergeron has spearheaded the effort for the last nine years.

“It’s important to get involved in the community and to do something to help these kids,” Bergeron said.

For Bergeron, the best part of the tradition is when he hands the gifts to children in the hospital. He will be part of the group visiting Franciscan Children’s next week.

“It’s one thing to grab presents at a store, but it’s a really cool moment when you give them to the kids and see a smile on their face.”

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