On November 26, 2019, Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling presented more than 100 donated toys to community leader Ernie Dumas who runs a Secret Santa Program in South Norwalk. The new toys were collected in September at the annual Walter Camp Day at the Yale Bowl in New Haven.
“Ernie runs a great program in South Norwalk that makes a true difference in the community,” said Mayor Rilling. “I appreciate all of his efforts in helping to ensure children and families have an enjoyable holiday season.”
The new toys were donated by friends and family who attended the September 21 game at the Yale Bowl between the Yale University Bulldogs and the Holy Cross Crusaders. Those who supported this charitable effort received a free general admission ticket to the game. Dumas started the Secret Santa Program in South Norwalk in 1998.
“I want to thank Mayor Rilling and the City of Norwalk for helping support this program. These donations will help make Christmas a little brighter for dozens of families in South Norwalk,” Dumas said.
The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Walter Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team. Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. The Walter Camp Player of the Year Award is given annually to the collegiate American football Player of the Year as decided by the NCAA Division I-A head coaches. Berchem Moses PC sponsored the pre-game event for the eleventh consecutive year to support the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF).
“The annual Walter Camp Day event is very significant to the Walter Camp Football Foundation and to the community. Each year the charity drive has grown exponentially, bringing hope and happiness to thousands of people throughout Connecticut,” said Mario Coppola, WCFF President, Partner at Berchem Moses PC, and City of Norwalk Corporation Counsel. “Mayor Rilling specifically asked me to make sure Ernie’s program was one of the beneficiaries of our event this year and I was thrilled to help make that happen.”