Coatesville students aid needy children in drive named for football great.

Students at the Coatesville Area Senior High School's Alternative Education Program are collecting toys and money for needy children in honor of a legendary NFL running back.

The Walter Payton Toy Drive is in its fourth year of bringing in money and toys for children in the Coatesville area. Alternative education teacher Bill Froggatt started the drive in honor of the former Chicago Bears great who was known almost as much for his service off the field as he was for talent on the field.

"We not only want them to graduate, we want them to learn good citizenship skills as well," said Froggatt. Each of the students, about 10 total, are in charge of four donation sites in the area. Last year the drive brought in $900 and about 200 toys, Froggatt said.

"It's amazing to see how they are, especially when we go on the shopping spree . . . they get to see the true spirit of Christmas," said Froggatt. For more information on the drive, or to donate, call Bill Froggatt at 610-466-2452, or e-mail him at

   Will Hobson