Cpl. David Gold received his dozen of the plush toys from Moose members, Craig Zimmerman, George Starkey and Jerry Vandergrift.

Steve Hare, executive director, West End Fire and Ambulance Company #3, received his dozen from female Moose members Barbara Kopetz, Evelyn Howard, Norma Hache, Joanne Starkey, Dorothy Sergeant, Marion Reeser, Florence Paster, Mary Koska and Colleen Kaufman.

According to Zimmerman, community services chairman, the donated plush toys are to be given out to children during an emergency or crisis.

"The purpose of putting the stuffed moose in the hands of firemen and police officers is so they can give them to a young child in hopes it will calm them down after a crisis situation," said Zimmerman. "We try to do what we can for our community."

The stuffed moose, with woven red sweaters and "Tommy Moose" in white embroidered on the front, have been donated by the Moose Organization to law enforcement and first response teams throughout the country, said Zimmerman.

"This is a part of our 2003-2004 Supreme Governor's Community Service Program," he said. "The recognition and good feelings the lodge, chapter, Moose Legion and Moose Association receives for this donation is priceless."

Hare said that during an emergency, children need something to help occupy their minds and time.

"It's surprising how attached children will get with one of these toys," said Hare. "A toy like this will also benefit the parents and family, as a preoccupied child is one less worry they have to deal with."

Gold said that the toys will be beneficial to children who may be involved with a domestic abuse incident, or a bad vehicle accident.

"There are various instances where children can get great comfort from a toy like this," said Gold. "This gives the children something to hold onto after their ordeal."

Police Chief John Kalavik said he's glad his department received the donation from the Moose Lodge.

"In an emergency or crisis, the immediate focus is on the adult business of handling the problem," said Kalavik. "Unfortunately, the baffled and frightened children are caught up in the chaos, and verbal comfort and reassurance sometimes isn't enough to calm their fears. That is why it's important to receive such a donation of toys to distribute to young children."

comments powered by Disqus