by nathan oster
It’s been a busy stretch for members of the Chaper F PEO organization.
Not only did they plan and carry out the Little Shoppers on Saturday, but they also responded to a challenge put to them by Marguerite Van Dyke to expand their philanthropic efforts in the community.
The organization’s 35 members produced 40 pillows that will be delivered to the Ronald McDonald House in Billings later this week.
They did it through the “Benjamin Smiles” program, which honors the memory of Benjamin Mollett and was established by his parents, Arnold and Vicki Mollett, who reside in Cody.
Benjamin was diagnosed with cancer on Christmas Eve in 1998 and died the day before Thanksgiving in 1999. The family spent most of that year, at least when Benjamin wasn’t hospitalized, at the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City.
Vicki did a lot of sewing that year, including a quilt and a pillow for Benjamin.
“He picked out the fabrics and he loved bright, funky fabrics,” according to the Benjamin Smiles website. “He would have me make pillows for his friends. A small pillow, something to hold onto, but capable of many washings, is a great gift for a sick child.”
The Mollets said on the site that they realize the heartache that childhood cancer brings to many and that their desire is to be able to spread Benjamin’s smiles across the country with the little pillows.