LACONIA — Although a Grinch made off with 200 dozen cookies destined for Christmas Village, people from across the city quickly fired up their ovens Thursday and filled their shopping bags to ensure that no child visiting the annual festival will go without.
Patty Derocher had collected the cookies, packed them into her car then stopped at City Hall on Wednesday on her way to deliver them to the Community Center, only to find the cookies gone when she returned to her car. She called her friend Mary Huntoon at the City Clerk's Office who said "I took the ball and ran with it." Thursday morning an email asking for donations of cookies made the rounds of city offices while word was also posted Facebook. "Don't you mess with our Christmas Village," Huntoon said., adding that her family was baking in the afternoon and she planned to bake that night.
Nancy Brown at the City Manager's Office said that soon packages of home baked and store bought cookies of all varieties began flowing into her office. "They just keep coming in," she said, pointing to the stack of boxed cookies in the Mayor's Office by the middle of the afternoon. Patrick's Pub donated 50 dozen. "The comity is pulling together," Brown said.
Meanwhile, firefighters tended the double oven at Central Station throughout the day. "It was pretty tough for us to get it all done with all the calls and inspections in between," said Lieutenant Jay Ellingson. "We had to keep an eye on the oven and not set the fire to the fire house." Altogether the firefighters had baked 47 dozen cookies by late afternoon while Susan Matheson of Warren-Wentworth Emergency Medical Service spent her day off baking another 10 dozen.
"This is a huge event," Ellingson said. "When you go with your kids, the hot chocolate and cookies, that's all part of it. Without the cookies, there goes some of the magic."
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