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Kids treated at annual Lions Club magic show

December 17, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

ROUZERVILLE, Pa. - Hundreds of stuffed animals, a magician/illusionist and the possibility of winning a new bicycle awaited children and their families who attended the Rouzerville Lions Club's All-Star Magic Show Sunday.

Lester Little of the Rouzerville Lions Club started the event six years ago as a community service project.

"I just want to give away toys and make sure everyone gets a toy (for the holidays)," Little said. "Word gets around because every year we get a bigger crowd."

Little said he collects stuffed animals all year long for the event and had about 400 this year. This year's crowd included 81 girls and 68 boys and their parents, which was not quite as big as last year, Little said.

All the toys were donated by local stores, which Little declined to name. He said 80 percent of the toys were new and the rest were slightly used.

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As families entered Hooverville Elementary School, children were given raffle tickets for the chance to win a new bicycle and could pick out a stuffed animal.

Magician and illusionist Jason Bishop came on stage and performed tricks like putting his assistant in a box, folding up the box, putting knives in it and then revealing his assistant unharmed. He also took a newspaper, ripped it in pieces in front of the audience and then revealed that it was not ripped at all.

"He is kind of freaky," said Katie Arestad, 10, of Waynesboro, Pa.

Jane Schur of Waynesboro brought her grandson, Vasil Schur, 6, to the event because he loves magicians.

"(Vasil) has magic containers at home and does tricks at home," Jane Schur said.

Vasil said his favorite trick was "the one with the swords in the box." Vasil picked out the stuffed animal Ord from "Dragon Tales" because it is his favorite character on the show.

Jane Schur said she found out about the event because she works at Easter Seals in Waynesboro, and the company received 15 tickets to give out to children for the event.

Little said originally the Rouzerville Lions Club was going to charge admission to the event.

"It was a last-minute thing - we decided not to charge," Little said.

When it was time to see who would win a new bicycle, Vasil said, "I hope I get one."

Four girls' and four boys' bicycles were donated by Wal-Mart and Kmart for the raffle, Little said.

Joey Shank, 10, of Waynesboro, was one of the children to win a new bicycle.

"It feels really good," he said. "I'm getting too big for my bike."

Jessica Elden, 5, of Waynesboro, also received a new bicycle and her mother, Holly Elden, said she would enjoy it.

"We were here last year and had a really good time," Holly said. "The kids love it - they have a great time, no matter what."

Holly brought her children, Jessica, Emily, 10, and Sarah, 8, to the show.

"(The magician) is very kid-oriented," Holly said. "I think it's awesome the amount of stuffed animals they have."

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