Christmas 1992 arrives early for 125 needy Carroll children

December 21, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

The 6-year-old tore into his gifts before Santa even left the room.

"Oh yeah! Cowabunga! Cool dude," Garry Ensor Jr., of Westminster, said about the black Golden Wing truck and the two crazy troll doll warriors he received yesterday at a party sponsored by Maryland Troopers Association Lodge No. 20.

His 7-year-old sister, Heather, wearing a forest green velvet dress and red Christmas bow earrings, already had opened her present -- a troll tree house.

Their parents, Garry and Sherrie Ensor Sr., watched a steady stream of children take their turns on Santa's knee during the afternoon party at the Westminster Volunteer Fire Department Hall on Main Street.

The troopers invited about 125 Carroll children and their families to the 12th annual Christmas for Kids party.

The officers raise money during the year to buy gifts for the children, who are referred by the Neighbors in Need program.

The fire department treated them to a turkey dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes, even blue Jell-O.

First Sgt. Steve Reynolds of the Westminster barracks said the troopers spent about $4,000 buying presents for the children this year.

They spent about $30 on each child and bought gifts from wish lists written by the children.

Each family also received a box of jams and jellies from the troopers' lodge, which has about 200 members.

"I hope Santa makes it. He's got a bad back," said Earl Bredenburg of Finksburg, a lieutenant at the Bel Air barracks and one of the troopers who helped throw the first party.

Chuck Lukoski, a retired trooper from Westminster who has dressed as Santa for the past five years, made his entrance while the crowd sang "Jingle Bells."

He sat on a straight-back chair next to a Christmas tree on a small stage in the fire hall's social room while each child posed for a Polaroid picture on his knee.

Then he handed each child a bag of presents wrapped specially for them.

Some children left with their gifts unopened, as their parents urged them to save the surprises for Christmas Day.

Others couldn't resist the temptation of instant gratification.

Justin Barrett, 7, of New Windsor received a Lego space shuttle kit.

"I collect Legos," he said, never taking his eyes or his hands off the package. He also got a scooter.

His brother, Brandon, 2, played with the roaring dinosaur toy he received.

A Mickey Mouse See-and-Say toy and Mickey Mouse learn-to-dress doll were in a bag nearby.

Their mother, Donna Barrett, said the children would have a few more surprises on Christmas Day.

Other gifts ranged from a practical car seat to -- just for fun -- Barbie dolls, roller blades, coloring books and tape recorders.

State Police Superintendent Larry Tolliver and his wife, Sheila, also attended the party to help serve food and distribute gifts.

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