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The purpose of these soft and cuddly toys is to bring comfort to children in times of stress.

PIONEER PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - The Molalla Moose Lodge donated stuffed animals to Colton Fire. Pictured from left to right are: Brent Hill, Richard LeGore, Lt. Chris Colhoon of Colton Fire, Richard Townsend and Rick Reed.

Last week the Molalla Moose Lodge donated 12 Tommy Moose™ plush stuffed animals to the Colton Fire Department. The purpose of these soft and cuddly toys is to bring comfort to children in times of stress. The Tommy Moose™ program began in 2002 and Rick Reed, administrator of the local lodge, said since the stuffed animals have become available, they have been donating them to the Molalla Police Department, Molalla Fire, Monitor Fire and Colton Fire. They have also handed them out to children during the annual Molalla Fourth of July parade.

"The children just hug them and smile," Reed said.

According to the Loyal Order of Moose website: "Tommy originated as a Moose community service project in Connecticut. It has spread throughout the U.S. and Canada and over 100,000 Tommy Moose plush dolls have been donated to shelters, hospitals, and emergency workers, who in turn deliver them to children in need of some comfort when facing some of life's biggest challenges."

Lt. Chris Cohoon, volunteer with Colton Rural Fire Protection District #70, was on hand to receive the donation of plush toys.

"I know kids love them and it will be nice to hand them something to hug when they are hurting for themselves, or for their family or friends," Cohoon said. "The Colton Fire Department appreciates receiving these stuffed toys and we will use them in response situations with children."

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