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Miller Canfield Participates in 2004 Goodfellow Doll Program

November 19, 2004

Each year for 14 years, the law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. has made dressing dolls for the Old Newsboys' Goodfellow Fund of Detroit a holiday tradition. This year, attorneys and staff dressed 120 dolls to be distributed by the Goodfellows to girls ages 5 to 11 in the Detroit area.

The annual doll drive is a team effort at Miller Canfield. Some employees sponsor dolls and dress them in attractive clothing, and others cut clothing patterns during lunch. Coordinators in Miller Canfield’s Ann Arbor, Detroit and Troy offices helped distribute and gather the dolls, which were finished in items such as blue jeans and sweaters, or in meticulously knitted or crocheted outfits made by dedicated mothers of employees.

For some, participating in the Goodfellows spirit extends beyond the firm’s participation. Attorneys Clarence Pozza, Jr., a past president, and Mike Coakley and Pete Waldmeir, Jr., members of the board, have been involved in the Goodfellows for nearly 20 years, selling newspapers during the holidays and participating in other fundraisers for the charity. This year, Coakley donated 12 dolls that his 10-year old daughter and daughter’s friend dressed.

Gerry Wiktor, a legal secretary and a doll drive coordinator in the firm’s Ann Arbor office, recalls her father’s work with the Goodfellows, which inspired her to get involved when she was a teen. “My father, Treffley Myers, worked for the Detroit News and joined the Goodfellows in the late 1930s,” she said. “He oversaw the distribution of dolls to Detroit News employees and friends for many years and was a member of the Goodfellows until 1995.”

Wiktor is married to a Detroit Public Schools teacher, who sees children affected by the Goodfellows. “He tells me how delighted and proud the children are when they receive their Goodfellows box. The kids show off their shoes and talk about their new toy or doll. I find it rewarding to know that I, along with my co-workers, help the Goodfellows with their goal: ‘No Kiddie Without a Christmas,’” she said.

“No Kiddie Without a Christmas” remains the mission of the Old Newsboys’ Goodfellow Fund of Detroit, although the Goodfellows “aren’t just for Christmas any more.” This year the organization will distribute 40,000 gift packages during the holiday season containing warm clothes, books and toys to children in the Detroit area, as well as 15,000 dolls dressed by a variety of community, civic, and corporate groups.

The Doll Program is one of many programs operated by the Goodfellows since 1914. The group also sponsors an emergency dental program for local children, provides free shoes to schoolchildren in need, provides scholarships through Wayne State University, and sends hundreds of needy children to camp each summer.

The 330-attorney law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. was established in Detroit in 1852 and has offices in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Howell, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Monroe, and Troy, Michigan. Other offices are located in New York City, Pensacola, Florida, Washington, D.C., Windsor, Ontario, and in Gdynia, Katowice, and Warsaw, Poland.