Waterfront: April 2007 - Giving Is Good; Alice Goes AWOL

Giving Is Good

Dealer helps family in need.

A Christmas wish came true this past December for the Kramer family of Strausstown, Pa.

Marcus Kramer, age 6, suffers from Hunter's Syndrome, a disease that results from his body lacking a particular enzyme. A side effect of this for Marcus, who has been given a life expectancy of 13, is that his joints lock up. The Kramers have a medical prescription for a hot tub, which could ease Marcus's pain, but their insurance company will not honor it.

But Bryn Kolbe did. Kolbe, co-owner of Kolbe's Pools & More in Schuylkill Haven, Pa., says, "My wife and I have two children of our own, ages 9 and 12, and this touched our hearts. I can't imagine being in that position and having to face the fact of losing a child eventually. And it ticks me off when insurance companies won't pay for these things, even though the doctor says it's necessary."

So on Dec. 23, Kolbe drove to the Kramer's and gave them a Christmas card. On the front was a message saying Kolbe had read the family's story in the Hamburg Area Item , a local newspaper, and said he hoped he could help them with a donation, which was pictured dead center on the letter — a PDC hot tub.

Kolbe and members of the Boy Scout troop he leads delivered the tub, a cover lifter and a supply of chemicals to the Kramers in the first week of January, and Marcus has used it often since then.

"It's a very nice family, doing all they can to make this as good as they can for their child," says Kolbe. "They're very positive people, but this has to get to them every once in a while; so, quite honestly, I'm hoping it gives mom and dad a little bit of relaxation, too."

Alice Goes AWOL

Mannequin misses mate.

Ted misses Alice. Both were, until recently, residents of Custom Pools in Newington, Conn. No, there weren't people living at a pool and spa store — Ted and Alice are mannequins. Alice's top half has been missing since right after Christmas 2006, and while employees of the store had hoped she just popped out to attend a New Year's Eve party, she still hasn't returned. "We originally thought someone borrowed [her] for a party or something but she still isn't back," Grace Hagwood, customer care center manager told the Portsmouth Herald .

Ted and Alice had lived outside the store since May 2006, according to store manager Jennifer Hemming, and used to make frequent trips around town. "Every weekend we would have them driving around in a truck with a trailer on the back," she says. "One weekend we came back and she was just gone, just her top half."

Employees of the store have asked everyone they know if they've seen Alice, as yet to no avail. If anyone does see the top half of a female mannequin in the vicinity of the store, please email her partner Ted, who misses her companionship, at [email protected].

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