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Member profile: Marguerite Desrochers

From time to time, we will profile TCCC members who are making a difference in their communities, and in the world. These are people who give selflessly of themselves for the good of others.

In 2012, Marguerite Desrochers started Teddy Buddies with a simple belief rooted in basic kindness: the belief that “every child should have toys to play with.”

Teddy Buddies began with just 19 homemade stuffed toys for children in need. In 2017, they distributed over 3300  toys to Friends of the Community Food Pantry and St. Louis Child Care, both in Biddeford, and to Partners for World Health in Portland.

For Marguerite, this is a mission.

“I have toys in four bedrooms of my house. We collect them from yard sales and from individuals who drop toys off by the bagful at my home. They are washed, dried and mended before they are distributed to the people in need. Every toy is individually wrapped in plastic bags.”

To date, 11,000 toys have visited Marguerite’s washing machine.

There is always a need for more toys. Some of the Beanie Babies go to third world countries for children with medical needs. Stuffed bunnies come out at Easter, and Christmas-themed toys in Decmeber, but Marguerite distributes toys all year long.

Right now, Marguerite’s “wish list” for continuing her work includes:

  • AA and AAA batteries
  • unscented laundry detergent
  • 2-gallon plastic bags

She also accepts board games, cars and trucks, books, puzzles and dolls.

If you have toys or other supplies to donate, please contact Marguerite Desrochers at 207.282.1326, or reach her on her Facebook page, TeddyBuddiesByMarguerite.

 

 

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Tri-City Members Sing With Chorus Pro Musica

On August 6, three Tri-City members braved the heat and traffic and made their way to the Old South Church in Boston for the chance to sing some Brahms with Chorus Pro Musica in their first “Summer Sing” of the season … and it was worth it!

CC Clapp, Robin Gratiot Vaughan and I paid a measly $10 apiece to join singers from Chorus Pro Musica as well as other choral enthusiasts like ourselves for almost three hours of working our way through two Brahms songs, under the inspiring direction of Jamie Kirsch, CPM’s musical director.  Snacks and scores were provided.

Speaking for myself, within 20 minutes or so I was “in the zone”…you know, that place where you’re so fully engaged with taking apart, exploring and piecing back together a new piece that nothing else exists. Jamie Kirsch made us feel like we’d been working with him for … well, all along.

An added bonus for me: a young woman came over to introduce herself to some of us during the break. When I told her my name, she exclaimed, “Are you Joyce Hollman from Tri City Community Chorus?” Whoa! Was I famous? No … in fact, I was talking to Tori Cook, president of CPM, but also someone I’d been emailing with about an online management system for choruses called Chorus Connection (more about that another time).

Tori is an expert in fundraising for choruses, and I have some conversations planned with her … stay tuned!

There are two more summer sings coming up, on August 13 and 20. Why not expand your choral horizons and give it a try?