Children get a chance to call Santa hot line

Posted Dec. 12, 2008, at 7:01 p.m.

Here’s a great way for you to let your children “talk” with Santa and Mrs. Claus this year.

Carrie Lyn Lemos of Kindred Healthcare’s Eastside Rehab and Living Center in Brewer reports that, during the weeks before Christmas, “a hardworking corps of volunteer residents” and staff of Eastside Rehab and Living Center will participate in the “Ho Ho Hotline,” part of “a nationwide, phone-in program” of Kindred Healthcare Inc.

“There is absolutely no charge for the calls,” Lemos wrote.

In the release, she explained that the volunteers attended the “Ho, Ho Academy,” a one-day training course, where they were taught to answer “commonly asked questions, familiarize themselves with the season’s most popular toys, and practice hearty Ho, Ho, Ho’s.”

The volunteers also were taught the “gentle art of making no promises to young callers,” Lemos added.

Children can call the Ho, Ho Hotline, 941-9327, between 3 and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, or from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, now through Tuesday, Dec. 23.

Parents also can arrange for Santa or Mrs. Claus to call their children at a predetermined time, at home, and those telephone appointments can be made by calling Melissa Mitchell at 947-6131.

This is the first year Eastside Rehab and Living Center has participated in this national program that sounds as if it should be as much fun for the hot line volunteers as for the youngsters making or receiving the calls from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

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Anne Russenberger-Keefe invites you to visit Woodlawn Museum, 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, on Route 172 in Ellsworth.

From 2 to 3 p.m. carols will be sung by members of the Acadia Choral Society and, at 3:30 p.m., Santa Claus will read “The Night Before Christmas.”

Admission is $5 for adults, $1 for children 5-12. The museum will remain open for holiday tours from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 20, 21, 27 and 28.

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Lanie Colson reports that Eastern Maine Medical Center’s CancerCare of Maine Lights of Hope program is under way.

Colson invites you to be part of this tradition “by honoring, or remembering, a loved one” through purchase of “a light to decorate our Lights of Hope tree,” which is located at EMMC on State Street in Bangor.

“Each shining light … represents someone whose life has been touched by cancer,” Colson wrote, “and the tree, itself, symbolizes hope.”

The public is invited to participate in a Lights of Hope tree-lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, outside the Webber West Building on the EMMC campus.

A reception with refreshments and holiday music will take place after the ceremony.

Last year, Colson reports, this program raised more than $27,000 “for technology and support services at CancerCare of Maine.”

For more information, or to request your Lights of Hope form, call Healthcare Charities at 973-5055.

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Ann Carter wrote to inform the public about a “convenient opportunity for prospective hams, or those who want to upgrade,” to participate in a testing session for amateur radio licensing.

The St. Croix Valley Amateur Radio Club will hold “a testing session for all grades of amateur radio licensing,” beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at the Charlotte Fire Station on Route 214, Carter wrote.

The test site will have “at least three volunteer examiners who hold Extra licenses,” she said, “so those wishing to upgrade” can be accommodated.

The exams are $14 per test, “and may be taken, again, immediately, for an additional $14 if it is failed the first time,” she added.

For more information, call Skip McGarvey at 853-2951.

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Friends Walter and Nancy Cook of Brownville and David and Terri Knowles of Milo are assisting with the annual Christmas Day dinner started by Everett and Freda Cook of Milo for their neighbors in the Piscataquis County area.

Walter Cook e-mailed that this year’s free meal will be served from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday Dec. 25, in the Milo Town Hall dining room, and that “everyone is welcome.”

The meal will feature “ham, potatoes, Freda’s famous broccoli casserole, carrots, rolls” and desserts.

You can even receive home delivery if you call by Monday, Dec. 22, either the Walter Cooks at 965-8410 or the Knowleses at 943-7762.

What a wonderful way this is to share the holiday with Everett and Freda Cook and their friends.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.net; 990-8288.

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