12-9-18 Angels and Elves group 1

Angels & Elves co-directors Dick Ficke and Marie Lee (right) pose with team leader Marilyn Desmarais and Santa last year at the Angels & Elves Headquarters in Settlers Green. This year, Elf HQ has moved across the street to Settlers Green next to the New Balance store. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)

CONWAY — Darlene Ferance, president of the Kiwanis Club of Mount Washington Valley, has announced that the Angels & Elves program will open Wednesday in the former Brooks Brothers facility next-door to New Balance in Settlers Green, North Conway.

This is a new location — last year, Elf HQ was across the street at Settlers Crossing next to Black Cap Grille.

This will be the 17th year that the Kiwanis Club of Mt. Washington Valley has been responsible for organizing and managing a valley program that ensures that underserved children receive gifts from Santa on Christmas morning.

When sponsors (“Angels”) come in, they can choose whom (a little boy, a teenage girl, etc.) to shop for.

They get a sheet of instructions that tell them they should expect to spend $125-$150 per child, though of course they are welcome to spend more by sponsoring a second child, preferably a sibling.

And they get the application sheet, which tells a little bit about the child.

According to Dick Ficke and Marie Lee, program co-directors, Angels & Elves was started in 1990, having been founded by Alex Levine and Joy Nagle with local residents and subsequently run by Harry and Roberta Stead until Kiwanis took it over in 2002.

Ficke and Lee start the planning in September; the most important step is obtaining space for Elf Headquarters.

Ficke noted that the first “Angel” to appear on the scene was Dot Seybold, general manager, OVP Management Inc., who provided the facility.

“I’m really not sure what we would do without her support,” Ficke said.

Marie said that the time between moving in and opening is really busy. Team leader stations have to be set up, applicant and sponsor forms printed, clothing hung by size and gender, toys and books stored by age and gender, telephones, computers, printers, reproduction equipment installed, volunteer schedules completed and databases readied.

Applications are taken starting with opening day through Dec 2.

Elf HQ will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, noon-5:30 p,m. through Nov. 29.

Then from Dec. 2-15, the facility will be open every day from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Days and hours of operation and all other information pertaining to Angels & Elves can be found on the Kiwanis Club of Mt. Washington Valley website, mwvkiwanis.org.

Dates/times will also be posted at Elf HQ and are printed several times a week in The Conway Daily Sun.

Once the entire operation shuts down on Dec. 15, the elves will be busy packing up and moving back to the storage facilities. In preparation for the next year, post-holiday/winter sales will be taken advantage of, databases updated and lesson-learned debriefings held.

Ficke said that he thought he over heard some elves talking about a long winter’s nap!

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