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Candlemaker promotes change drive for children's hospital

ELIZABETHTOWN A local crafter is doing his best to spur on a change roundup for regional causes. Ted Marsh, Jr. of Westport has teamed with Balsam Hollow Crafts owners Edward Hause and Michelle Wisell to create a special challenge to promote 98.9 WOKOs The Big Change Roundup. Funds collected benefit the Vermont Children's Hospital. Marsh, a candlemaker, has set a collection jug for WOKOs Big Change Roundup at Balsam Hallow. Along with setting out a collection jug for the fundraiser, Marsh filled a box with change to creating a guessing contest. The person who comes closest to the amount of money in the box wins a gift basket from Balsam Hallow Crafts and Marsh. The basket has a $50 retail value. I know whats in the box, but no one else knows, said Marsh. He wont even tell us, said Hause. Marsh creates soy wax candles from all-natural soy bean oil. He is one of more than 25 local vendors who sell their wares through Balsam Hallow Crafts. Change will be collected through the end of February. Marsh stated he decided to become involved because Vermont Childrens Hospital was a charity he supported. He liked the idea of everyone chipping in a bit of loose change to come up with big results. Steve Pelkey, operations manager for Hall Communications, which owns WOKO, said this was the third year of the Big Change Roundup. Last year, 2 1/2 tons of change was collected, amounting to $149,000. It's a little bit from a lot of people. It takes the old-fashioned coin drop to a whole new level, said Pelkey. There are 4,000 individuals, groups and school organizations from throughout the Champlain Valley participating in the change drive. The entire region relies on the larger regional hospital, so it does make a difference. If you have a child, you don't know if you're going to need that hospital, but it's nice to know it's there, said Pelkey. At the end of the month, WOKO will go on the road, visiting four area Wal-Mart drop sites. The station will take a 33-foot trailer from Ehlers RV of Essex, Vt., to make the collection. The station will broadcast from Ticonderoga on Jan. 29, and Plattsburgh on Feb. 1.

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