Donors Invited To Bench Dedication

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Sep 252020

Those of you who generously donated money to the Annie Davis Memorial Bench Fund are invited to attend the bench dedication in October.

The exact date is yet to be decided upon, but the good news is that the completed bench had been delivered.

Because of the continuing threat of the coronavirus, we are limiting the dedication to those who donated money last year and helped us reach the $1,500 goal.

There were two fundraisers after Annie died in September 2019, one, the “Friends of Annie Davis,” that involved a physical event at the Orange Ale House to benefit Annie’s son, Michael, since she had not prepared a will. And the Annie “Elf Mama” Davis Memorial Bench Fund with which we are providing residents a place to relax and remember Annie at the Orange Fairgrounds.

Contact Us By Oct. 7

If you donated to the Bench Fund and would like to attend the dedication, please e-mail us at orangectlive01@gmail.com by 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7 with your name and contact information so we will know how many guests to expect and so we can send you a personal notice of the date, time, and exact location of the unveiling.

The dedication will take place on a weekend in early October and you will find that information here on Orange Live.

One Year Ago We Lost Someone Very Special

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Sep 232020

It’s hard to believe that one year ago today on Sept. 23, 2019, we lost Annie  “Elf Mama,” “Cookie Mama,” Davis.

Immediately after learning of this sad news, I (Terri Miles) began collecting money with which to purchase a memorial bench for Annie so no one ever forgets her or her contributions to the town of Orange.

Annie was the driving force behind the Santa’s Helper fundraising program that brought joy to hundreds of Orange residents each year and brought in badly needed funds to the Orange Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of gear or whatever it needed at the time.

She spent several months each year organizing the event so it ran without a hitch, as long as everyone followed her directions to the letter. She’d call me at lunchtime from her work office and let me know that a press release was in the works and that I could edit it anyway I’d like, to make it “fun.”

She was known for her love of baking and the delicious cookies she made for the police, fire, CERT, and EMT members at big community events such as the Orange Country Fair, Firemen’s Carnival, and, of course in the break room during Santa’s Helper night.

She was a dedicated and founding member of the Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

As many of you know, all of the necessary funds finally came through, and with the assistance of CERT member, and Annie’s longtime friend, Ken Lyke, the bench was ordered and we are just waiting for its’ delivery.

With the first selectman’s approval, we found the perfect location for the bench and we will host a social distancing dedication ceremony for all of the wonderful people who donated money for the bench.


If you helped the cause by donating to the Annie Davis Memorial Bench Fund, please send me an e-mail at orangectlive01@gmail.com expressing your interest in joining us for the dedication. (Put in your two cents for Saturday or Sunday – 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.)

At this time I don’t know the exact date because we don’t have it yet, BUT it will take place on a weekend giving everyone a fair shake at having a vote on the most convenient day and time.

The dedication will be limited to ONLY those who made a donation. Without YOU this memorial would not be possible.

Whatever Happened To Elf Mama’s Bench?

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Jul 242020

It’s now almost one year since Orange’s “Elf Mama” Annie Davis passed away (Sept. 2019).

Immediately following her death, Orange Live began collecting money with which to purchase a bench in her memory.

We were joined by the Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) — primarily member Ken Lyke who has stayed on top of the matter for months.

The last update came in the midst of the early stages of the pandemic in February with the CERT voting to have the bench located at fire station number one on the Boston Post Road.

Here’s the most current information:

We never dropped the ball on this, and will never forget that many wonderful people donated money toward the purchase of the bench.

Ken and I met with First Selectman Jim Zeoli on Wednesday and showed him space at the Orange Fairgrounds where we would like to place the bench, even though we’d been told that the grounds were saturated with benches and it would not be allowed up there.

The three of us discussed the situation while standing in the desired spot and came to an agreement that fulfilled each of our particular personal requirements.

I wanted a place that was rather shady. Ken hoped for a place close to the CERT/First Aid Tent area where Annie spent time during the Country Fair and Firemen’s Carnival. Jim wanted a space where a bench may be useful and not in the way of foot or vehicular traffic during public events.

After our conversation, we were given the blessing to order the bench and we will announce the date and time of a brief dedication ceremony for the friends and donors to attend in the very near future.

Thank you all for your patience and of course, for helping us make this memorial a reality. I think Annie would be pleased.

Memorial Bench For Annie Davis Update: New Location

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Feb 202020

Annie “Elf Mama” Davis was a huge part of the Orange Community, For more than 20 years, she took the reigns of the OVFD Auxiliary’s Santa’s Helper program and helped bring joy to thousands of children and families across town. She also was a founding member of the Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Monday, Sept. 23, Annie passed away at the hospital after having a heart attack.

The friends of Annie Davis would like to purchase a memorial bench for the Orange Fairgrounds with Annie’s name on it so she will never be forgotten.

UPDATE: After some discussion at this week’s CERT meeting, a vote was taken and the majority decided that a better place for the bench would be in front of Fire Station #2 on the Boston Post Road where Annie worked for many years, and which served as Santa’s Helper Headquarters since day one. 

According to CERT spokesman Ken Lyke, the fire department personnel has agreed to placing the bench there, and so it will be.

We are still a little short on our goal, but we are confident that the bench will be in place this spring, possibly as soon as April. 

The cost of the bench, with an engraved plaque and installation, is $1,500 and we need your help to make our goal.

The Friends of Annie Davis’s Memorial Bench collection is being done in cooperation with the Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and we still need to raise $400. This could have been accomplished, for example, by soliciting $10 from just 40 families in Orange. 

We are working on different ways to get the money so that we can dedicate the bench by spring as a continual reminder to the townspeople about just how wonderful and dedicated Annie was to this town.

Anyone who’d like to help us with the funding, please send a check made out to “Friends of Annie Davis” to Friends of Annie Davis, 131 Clark Street, Milford, CT 06460. Any denomination would be greatly appreciated.

We have a Friends of Annie Davis Bank Account at Bank of America where all monies collected for the bench are being deposited.

Thank You, if you already have made a donation!