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IMAGE GALLERY: Christmas Pizza Party

Teens and children who attend the Milford Youth Center celebrated with a pizza party Friday at Pizza Chef.

Pizza Chef in Milford invited children, teens and staff from the Milford Youth Center for a pizza party Friday, providing about 20 pizzas for the large, boisterous group.

The children opened gifts contributed by donors through the United Way of Tri Counties, including sets of boxing gloves, punching bags, a pogo-stick, teen cosmetics, and other items on their wish lists.

Each child submitted a list of three items they hoped to receive, said Jen Ward, program director for the town-run Milford Youth Center, which receives most of its funding from the United Way.

In previous years, children sometimes have received just their top choice. This year, the children received all three of their choices, she said. The gifts were distributed quickly, following a pizza dinner donated by Pizza Chef.

The downtown pizza shop is where many of the kids eat after-school on half-days, and the Voyiatzis family volunteered their shop for the annual gift exchange.

"They always come here on half-days, we know them well," said Yianni Voyiatzis. "We wanted to give back."

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