2011-12-08 / Local

Inmates craft beautiful toys


A VOLUNTEER EFFORT by Bath and Brunswick Elks to ensure that local children in need receive Christmas gifts. Updates written by a Santa Claus Fund volunteer appear in each edition of The Times Record from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. A VOLUNTEER EFFORT by Bath and Brunswick Elks to ensure that local children in need receive Christmas gifts. Updates written by a Santa Claus Fund volunteer appear in each edition of The Times Record from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. I sent two volunteers from the Santa Claus Fund to the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset on Wednesday.

Al and Marshall met with Naomi Bonang, the industrial supervisor at Two Bridges. They took some photos and talked with the inmates.

The inmates were very happy to be considered Santa Claus Fund volunteers. Inmates worked very hard this year to put together some spectacular wooden toys for local kids.

Our volunteers at the North Pole Annex were so impressed with the toys this year. They fell in love with the doll beds, which came complete with Teddy bears. They were really cute toys.

The men in the wood shop made the cribs, and the women made the dolls. They also made blankets and the mattresses that went with cribs.

Inmates made chalkboards and sent them complete with chalk. I saw a locomotive that was actually a crayon holder; a real neat and original idea.

There were wooden tool boxes with tools. The classic pound-a-bench with hammer was very well done.

The wooden “brain teaser” games are going to make great gifts. We saw heartshaped jewelry boxes, even with necklaces.

Tower of Hanoi puzzles were new this year, and they looked like a lot of fun. I did see a wooden airplane that was outstanding, and a half dozen step stools for the little ones to stand on.

It was a wonderful collection of wooden toys, all made from original plans, not kit plans. Some of the men mentioned they never worked with wood before. They were metal shop workers and concrete laborers. It was a new skill they have acquired at the shop. They are very happy to be making toys for the kids, and they are making toys for three other toy funds this year.

They sent coloring books to go with the crayon train holders. I noticed six pegboards in the mix too.

The women made an assortment of blankets and afghans to keep the children warm on chilly nights.

To all the men and women who participated in making these wonderful toys, I want you to know that the children who receive these toys are going to have a better Christmas, thanks to all of you.

Speaking of all the boys and girls, the new total for boys and girls jumped again this morning. We hit 369, up from 315. We now have 167 boys and 148 girls.

Those totals don’t reflect a higher than normal need for gifts for 12-year-olds and 13- year-olds. We are looking for a little help in this age group.

If anyone would like to help out, we could use some hair dryers and curling irons for girls, and maybe remote control cars or hockey sticks and pucks, maybe even baseball bat and glove for the boys. Some large size mittens are needed too.

This age group is a little are harder to buy for, particularly these days in the age of electronics. Another idea I thought would work are popular music CDs.

If you would like to do a little shopping for our kids, this category needs the most help. You can drop off gift items at either the Bath Elks or the Brunswick Elks lodges.

Bath Elks Lodge is at 12 Lambard St., behind City Hall, and Brunswick is at 179 Park Row, across from the gazebo on the Brunswick Mall.

I have a correction for Jane Gott’s donation. It was made in memory of Winnie and Jerry.

New donations for today come from the following individuals and families:

Susan and Paul Taylor donated $25. Fleta Metcalf sent us $100. James Perrin sent $50. Lee’s Tire donated $50. Kathleen Martin donated $200.

The L.L. Bean Ladies Retirees raised and then donated $110. The Yankee Bowling ladies sent $100. Morin’s Auto Parts sent $50.

Pennell’s Apparel donated $40. Richard Lord donated $25. Arthur and Jean Melville donated $25. Berrie’s Guild Opticians sent $25.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 15 donated $100. Suzanne Sylvester donated $25 in memory of Mike and Brant Williams.

Cahill’s Tire Inc. donated $100 in memory of Charlie and Maxine Cahill. Tracy and Diane Humphrey donated $25 in memory of Alcide “Santa” Bois.

Angela Cousens donated $100 in memory of Herbert Cousens.

Thank you for all your kindness and generosity. We are very pleased with our campaign. Today’s total is $1,150. That moves the grand total to $9,182. That’s a very nice number. Thank you again.

Mary Alexander delivered two porcelain dolls, and an anonymous donor dropped off a Lego kit for our kids. Thank you both for your kindness.

Some of you have asked me to bring back a follow-up to “Bampy” and his grandsons. The two boys are in Pennsylvania, so we don’t see them every day. But we do talk to them every day.

The latest story that might make you crack a smile is this one from the 6-year-old. He said, “ Bampy, what do you want for Christmas?”

I thought a minute and said,” Maybe some new clothes.”

He asked, “What kind of new clothes?”

I said, “a pair of new dungarees?”

He shouted “DUNGAREES, what are they?”

He then softly asked his mother, who is standing right beside him, “What is dungarees, Mommy?”

She replied, “Bampy means ‘blue jeans.’”

I sure did date myself that time!

By the way, the 2-year-old has added the letter “O” to my name. He now calls me “BampyO.” You gotta love em.

We’ll have more news Friday, so stop by again and check our progress.

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