Tommy Moose helps children in distress
Special to the TIMES NEWS Ian Szalku of Neffs holds some of the Tommy Moose dolls as patrolman Daniel Buglio of the Slatington Police Department helps him manage the load.
The Moose Family Center No. 1375, Slatington, has joined the Tommy Moose program begun by Moose International in 2003. More than 100,000 moose dolls have been given to children since the program began.
The brightly colored dolls are presented to children in traumatic situations to help calm and distract them.
Locally they have been given to the Slatington and Walnutport police departments, the Slatington, Walnutport and Washington Township (Emerald, Friedens and Slatedale) fire companies and the Northern Valley Ambulance.
Robert Schmoyer, a past fire chief at Emerald, chaired the committee to provide the dolls with the assistance of Moose Governor George Kern.
Comfort for children comes in the colors of red, blue and shades of brown with Tommy prominently spelled across the front of the shirt. They are about one-foot tall.
Kurt Wehrmeister, director of communications at Moose International, says appreciative comments are received from places like the California Highway Patrol and Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Theresa Palome, a child life assistant at Vassar, uses Tommy Moose in play therapy with kids going into chemotherapy or surgery.
Any fire department, police department or ambulance service that would like to have the dolls to give to children may contact the Moose at (610) 767-9275.