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Terry twins turn gifts into charity

by: , Carson and Conner Terry are surrounded by Webkinz toys, which they recently donated to the Ronald McDonald House. They bought the Webkinz with money they received from friends in lieu of birthday presents.

Last year, Carson and Conner Terry donated close to $1,200 in toys to Doernbecher Children's Hospital, opting not to ask for birthday gifts from friends. Instead, those friends donated money to the twins' charitable cause. So the only question that remained for the now nine-year olds from Lake Oswego was what to do for an encore.

'We just like to help people and charity,' Carson Terry said.

Heading into this year's birthday, the Terry twins, who spent the first few weeks of their lives at Emmanuel Hospital after being born premature, decided that they wanted to do something similar. So the boys hosted a party to celebrate their Nov. 18 birthday at the Wilsonville Bowling Alley and, again, sought only cash donations, which would be used to purchase toys.

'We have lots of toys. We don't need more,' Conner Terry said.

After careful consideration, the Terry brothers selected Ronald McDonald House to receive the gifts. They asked what the charity would need or could use and were told that stuffed animals are always in high demand.

And that was perfect for the Terrys'. For the past few months, the twins have enjoyed what has been one of this year's hottest toys, Webkinz.

The stuffed animals, which also come with an activation code that opens up an entire new world for the pet on the Internet, have been a hit on the East Coast for over a year and have recently taken this part of the country by storm.

'These guys have known about (Webkinz) for a while now and Lake Shore (Pharmacy) had been so great we wanted to give them the business,' said Christine Terry, the twins' mother.

So, after the birthday party, the brothers went to Lake Shore Pharmacy on McVey Avenue, one of the earliest businesses in Lake Oswego to carry Webkinz, and purchased 90 of the toys.

But then they received a surprise. The pharmacy staff was so impressed with the boys' mission that they decided to donate a case of Webkinz (36 in total) to the cause.

'We just thought that what they were doing was great. We wanted to help them out a little,' said Dan Epley at Lake Shore Pharmacy.

'It was really nice. We didn't know they were doing to do it,' Carson said of the donation.

That gave the Terrys a pretty impressive haul to take to the Ronald McDonald house. The boys got a tour of the entire facility and were told how much their donation would mean to the children who would receive the toys.

The entire Terry family has been avid supporters of charities for a number of years. They are already planning on going back to the Ronald McDonald House to make cookies in the near future.

And the twins are also plotting what charity they should help next.

Conner is already advocating for the Oregon Food Bank and has been asking his mom if he can help out with Meals on Wheels.

A few of the Terrys' classmates have been inspired by the twins' acts and have asked to have similar birthday parties in the future.

'I hope they're trend-setters. A lot of the families (at the twins' party) were very generous. It's so much fun for all the kids to have a party like that,' Christine Terry said.

Carson and Conner did receive presents on their birthday from their parents and their grandmother wanted to make sure that she could give them a gift that they would keep.

After purchasing the Webkinz at Lake Shore Pharmacy, Hefley told the boys that they could each come in and pick one out for themselves whenver they wanted.

'Oh, then we could give those away, too!' said Conner