Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on Dec 22nd.
25 Years Ago
December 22, 1996 – Sunday
“Girls tickled with Elmo”
Chambersburg – Twenty-two-month-old Jessica Yaukey and Morgan Burdge, 18 months, have new friends to tickle. And the Franklin County Toy Mission’s bank account is a bit bigger after Sunday’s auction of Tickle Me Elmo dolls.
The girls’ fathers — Donovan Yaukey, Shippensburg, and Mark Burdge, Amberson — won bidding wars for the hottest toy this Christmas season at a benefit auction at Chambersburg Mall.
More than 100 people gathered at center court of the mall as Santa Claus stepped down to make way for this year’s small stuffed celebrity.
Mall manager Ron Formosa hoisted the bright orange doll above his head to show the enthusiastic crowd as auctioneer Carl Ocker, owner of Kennies Auction, started the bidding at $100.
There were no takers. Instead, a first bid of $40 was offered, and the contest was on.
The first 10-minute auction seemed much longer as the bidders took long pauses to consider their bids for the Sesame Street character doll that has a retail price of $34.99.
Things seem to stall at $150. The number of bidders had shrunk from 20 to just two. Then Yaukey offered $200. That ended the bidding and gave Jessica the most sought-after toy since the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls of the ’80s.
“First and foremost, it was for a good cause,” Yaukey said.
He said his daughter had been a big Barney fan, but recently she began watching Elmo on television.
As a surprise, a second Elmo doll was brought to the auction block.
The second bidding took much less time, with that Elmo going for $150 to Burdge. He gave the toy to his daughter, Morgan.
The Elmo doll has been gaining attention as stores nationwide sell out and parents seek to buy the toy at almost any price.
The first Tickle Me Elmo auctioned Sunday was donated by Chambersburg Mall and Public Opinion. The second was given by B & S Racing and K & K Toys at the mall. The auction, combined with proceeds from P.J. The Clown, who did face-painting earlier, raised $431 for the Franklin County Toy Mission.
50 Years Ago
December 22, 1971 – Wednesday
“Women of Moose to Send Flowers“
Chambersburg – Members of Chambersburg Chapter No 1128, Women of the Moose, voted to send poinsettias to elderly and shut in members for Christmas, during a recent meeting at Moose Home, West Commerce Street.
It was announced that a gift had been sent to Florence Scooge, a former member who resides at Moose Haven in Florida.
Communications were read and plans were made to attend a Green Beanie Day observance at the Harrisburg chapter.
Gifts were exchanged by the 30 persons attending. Door prizes were awarded to Hazel Higgins and Paula Ricker.
Jean Etter, senior regent, presided.
100 Years Ago
December 22, 1921 – Thursday
“232 Children in Town Face Christmas-less December 25
Chambersburg – There are 232 children in Chambersburg, who are facing a Christ-masless December 25 unless somebody comes to their rescue.
The names of these 232 children were secured by the girls of the Junior Civic Club from the local visiting nurse and the public-school nurse. They are, for the most part, children who heretofore have had at least some Christmas, unless the Junior Civic Club can get together a lot of toys, candy and oranges between now and Saturday.
As the result of activities on the part of the club and through personal and Public Opinion appeals the girls have got together a fair number of toys and candy.
They do not have nearly enough supplies to care for tire 232 kids and this final appeal is made. Citizens can give money, or they can give old toys. Some second-hand clothing which is also badly wanted has been given. This the club turns over to the visiting nurse, who knows where to give if that it will do the most good.
The girls of the club wanted to give each of the kids a pair of mittens. But this will require $40, and the money is not in sight. The girls have been moved by the great need and have drained their treasury in their effort to get enough toys and candy. But their funds are exhausted and scores of needy children are still uncared for.
We can hear the cynic saying now: “Why bother with toys and candy when these children are destitute?” It is because they are destitute that we should bother to see to it that they get some toys. The girls would give each child two toys. Why not? That makes the Christmas for the kids. Ask your memory.
Old toys, old clothes and money will be received at the Public Opinion office, which is more convenient than the club room.