RUMFORD – Dear Santa:

Tammy wants a new car, Isaac wants night-vision goggles and Jonah would like an electric guitar.

Kirstynn wants a Princess Barbie and Katie wants a trip for two to Japan.

They were among the hundreds of people who helped write what was billed as the “World’s Largest Letter to Santa” at Mountain Valley High School on Saturday.

By 3 p.m., more than 200 had signed the massive missive.

Another 200 wishes remained to be written in the next three hours by Mountain Valley majorettes serving as Santa’s elves.

“I think it’s very cool,” said Melissa Lyons of Mexico, after signing up to add her name and wish to the 24- by 100-foot letter. “I hope they beat the record. I wished for Justin Timberlake. That’s what I want for Christmas.”

Proceeds from the eight-hour event, which included other activities for children and a magic show by several Maine magicians, will benefit the majorettes.

The other goal is to set a world record in the largest-continuous-single-letter-ever-mailed category and make into record books.

The project was the brainchild of NewPage electrician Scot Grassette. The paper on which the letter was written was donated by the local NewPage Corp. paper mill.

The letter will be mailed to Santa’s North Pole home in Alaska at 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1, at the Post Office on upper Congress Street.

“Everything’s going as planned. I couldn’t be happier,” Grassette said Saturday afternoon.

The letter-signing began at 10 a.m. as pairs of majorettes took turns writing names and wishes with bingo markers every two hours. However, they soon fell way behind due to large crowds of people wanting to participate.

Some wishes came from as far away as Las Vegas.

Rumford Board of Selectmen Chairman J. Arthur Boivin said his two granddaughters, Crystal Holmes, 6, and Michelle Holmes, 12, of Las Vegas heard about the project through the news media and each wrote and mailed him a Christmas list.

Only one wish could accompany each name, so, picking a wish from one of the girls’ lists, he asked majorette Katie McDonald to write “colored Duck Tape.”

“That’s cuter than heck, but what the heck does she want Duck Tape for?” Boivin asked.

Some, like Frances Bernard of Mexico, who wished for world peace, had to wait more than an hour to photograph the names and wishes of her grandchildren as they were being written.

“I think it’s great for the town and it’s good for the children,” said Rumford Town Manager Len Greaney, who by 6 p.m. would be asked to officially measure the document for applications to world-record book agencies.

As for the scribes, it wasn’t as easy as it looked.

“It’s really hard to do because you have to space it out and write in capital letters, and I kept forgetting and writing in lowercase, and it hurts your knees and your back,” majorette Krystal Parent said after her shift ended.

Letter-signer Naomi Robertson of Rumford walked up and down the gym floor beside the letter, scanning more than 45 lines of names and checking out the wishes.

“New slippers, now that’s doable,” she said.

She thought the letter-signing was a great idea.

“It pulls the whole community together and it shows the girls that people care. I said to my husband, ‘I hope they at least get it full to prove that they can do that.'”


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