We now have two new branches to The Happy Factory family. This brings our total branches to 24. Number 23 is Bruce Wilkinson,3431 W500N, Vernal, UT. Number 24 is Bertley R. Jensen 160 W 200 N, Ferron, VT.
HAPPY FACTORY GALA:
The Gala held August 14th was a huge success. We still have people telling us what a wonderful evening it was. Mark Kohler was the Chairman and conducted the Gala Donna & Chases Cooley gave a brief history that brought us up to date. The Happy Factory has now delivered more than a quarter of a million toys, and 600 steam shovels to children around the world. LynAnne Ellsworth then told about the new facility and what a wonderful opportunity it will give our community. She stressed how important it is for those who can to contribute the dollars needed to build this new facility. Any donation larger or small will he welcomed. Then Thurl Bailey took over. And what a performance he gave. His beautiful songs touched everyone and the story of his childhood dream and how it came true. He then, at the close of his performance, took a little Happy Factory toy out of his pocket, held it up and said, all kids have dreams and The Happy Factory toys makes many of those dreams come true. I don’t think there was a thy eye in the house.
On September 23, 2003 we bad the ground breaking for the new facility at 896 N 2175 W Circle, Cedar City, UT. That’s north on the airport road. Those present included The Happy Factory Trustees, the fund raising committee, mayors from area towns, clergy from the religious organizations in our community, a youth choir from the North Elementary fourth grade de sang two songs. After a prayer by Jim Banks, and a brief ceremony, the dignitaries parted and the two little steam shovel operators, Austin (4) k. Dustbin (5) Palmer broke the ground.
THE MAGIC OF A TOY:
A small child moved to Cedar City with his parents. They were a family with very little means. The little boy was able to be in the Head Start program. A circus came to Cedar City in the fall. His parents could not afford to take the children to the circus but said they could go see the animals. The Happy Factory had provided toys for the Head Start children. The little boy was given a choice to pick out a toy of his very own. He picked out an elephant because he saw one at the circus. They told us he took it to bed with him and held it constantly. That was his circus. They moved back east and were in a terrible accident. The boy was in a coma and had trauma for some time. When he came out of his coma, the first thing he wanted was the elephant (his circus.)
A couple of years ago we were visiting friends of ours in Salt lake City. We were telling them about the steam shovels we had just delivered to Shriners Children’s hospital and how the head therapist there mentioned how much she loved the steam shovels. Our friend mentioned that her sister-in-law worked at the Jordan Valley School in Murray. We asked what the Jordan Valley School was and she told us that it was a seal for handicapped children. We had an extra steam shovel in the car and left it with her for her sister-in-law to take to school. About a week later we got a telephone call from John Gardner, the Principal of the school. He thanked us for the steam shovel and he said, “That it has caused more chaos than anything they had ever had, but it was beautiful chaos, can we get three more?” We said, “Of course.” Shortly after that we delivered three more to the school He gave as a tour and we were so impressed at the wonderful people who work with those children. He told us that they have 212 students and they represent every level of disability. Most of them have sound minds but many have bodies that do not cooperate. Most of them cannot communicate. We were told of one ten-year old boy who had slight use of one hand and arm, but could not communicate. When they brought a steam shovel into the room, this little fellow got so excited and they didn’t why. One of the staff investigated and found out that the little boy’s father was a backhoe operator. They made sides and a back to put over the steam shovel cab to support him, but they had to support his hands on the levers. He could slightly move one lever. He developed to where he could move that lever more. They put a shaft with an indicator on his wheelchair arms and he could move it enough to point to six icons. One would say, I’m hungry or another would say, I’m thirsty, and so on. He has now developed enough strength that he can operate the lever to indicate 32 different icons and for the first time in his ten years of life he can now communicate. Mr. Gardner told us that many of these children have no incentive to develop their muscles but the steam shovel gives them that incentive. Isn’t it wonderful to be part of an organization that through the toys and the steam shovels can have such a positive effect on so many children?
RECENT NEW REQUESTS:
We have delivered 35 steam shovels to the Clark County School District in Las Vegas Nevada for their special need program.
In a recent meeting at Window Rock AZ. we met with the administrators of their Head Start Program. They were so excited to find out that we could deliver 5,000 toys for their Head Start Christmas. It looks like they will need some steam shovels for their special needs locations.
Because The Happy Factory needs keep growing sad we’ve started our new building, we need your help. Please give what you can to help this great work continue. Thank You
Motto: We may not be able to make a toy for every child in the world who needs one, but we’re going to try.