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Monday, June 27, 2016
Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
From left, Fort Plain Fire Chief Jeff Smith, Moose Lodge 853 Governor Ray Ponte, and Fort Plain Police Sergeant Ryan Austin with the plush dolls provided by the Canajoharie Moose Lodge.


Moose hands out helpful items to local schools and service organizations

Thursday, June 12, 2014 - Updated: 1:49 AM


C-S-E Editor

FORT PLAIN -- As part of a Moose International service program, Moose Lodge 853, of Canajoharie, has been donating stuffed, plush moose animals to local service organizations, which will be used during calls where children are on scene.

On Friday, Moose Governor Ray Ponte delivered a half dozen moose dolls each to the Fort Plain Volunteer Fire Department and the Fort Plain Police Department. The Moose Lodge has already delivered them to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, New York State Police Department, Canajoharie Volunteer Fire Department, the Canajoharie Police Department and GAVAC, and they still have plans to deliver some to Rural Metro Ambulance Corps.

Fort Plain Fire Chief Jeff Smith said, "These will be very valuable for emergency scenes when there's young kids, whether involved or witnessing what's going on — at an accident, a serious EMS call, a fire."

"They'll be used to make the mood a little bit lighter."

Fort Plain Police Sergeant Ryan Austin said the police department will use them in similar situations, including during domestic calls. "We'll use them at a very volatile scene or if we're trying to separate parents and the kids are witness."

He continued, "It's an upsetting situation for kids, so we try to calm them down and shield them from that. It'll be very valuable and we greatly appreciate it."

Smith said of the Moose, who is handing out these items for the first time locally, "A partnership with them will be nice to carry on."

As soon as each organization runs out, they've been told to contact the Moose, which will deliver more. "As long as they need them, we'll get them," said Ponte.

As part of the Moose International service program, bookmarks (containing warnings about internet predators and dangerous internet practices), along with coloring books, have been given out at Canajoharie and Fort Plain Elementary Schools.

Ponte said that he's soon hoping to acquire some of the items for St. Johnsville service organizations and the OESJ school district. He also noted that he's hoping the Moose can acquire a full-size mascot costume, so that it can attend school district events alongside the police, EMS and fire departments.


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