By Bruce Edwards
What could be a better way to start off the holidays then taking the kids to see the Grinch when the Dr. Seuss character pays a special visit to Rutland.
Yes, the Grinch — that green and mean character (perhaps not so mean after all) will drop by Phoenix Books at 2 Center St. at noon on Dec. 6.
And in keeping with the spirit of the Grinch, visitors to Rutland’s new bookstore are asked to contribute to the Phoenix Books food drive for the holidays by bringing a non-perishable food item.
Phoenix Rutland manager Tricia Huebner expects a big turnout on Sunday, Dec. 6.
“Our first event we did like this was Curious George back when we had our grand opening, which was very popular,” Huebner said. “I think we probably had about, I’d say, 200 to 300 people come through. So I think it will be quite busy.”
Children (and adults young at heart) can have their photo taken with the Grinch. There will also be a reading from the book, “ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and treats for the kids.
“Just for the kids to have their picture taken with the Grinch is wonderful,” Huebner said. “And it’s a great holiday picture for families to have.”
The store will also have Grinch items for sale, including books and plush toys.
The food drive fits nicely with the legend of the Grinch, who took great joy in making people miserable. But one Christmas morning after stealing all the gifts in the make-believe town of Who-ville, the Grinch had an awakening and returned all the gifts.
Like the Grinch, Huebner said those who attend and donate a food item can “grow their hearts three sizes.”
“If people can bring something for the food drive, that’s wonderful,” she said. “We’ll be taking it to the community cupboard, and obviously the more we can raise the better.”
Phoenix Books owner Mike DeSanto will match community members’ food donations with a monetary contribution.
Last year was first Meet the Grinch Food Drive. The event was held at Phoenix Books in Essex and Burlington.
DeSanto made a matching donation of $2,500 each to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf and the Essex-Jericho-Underhill Ecumenical Food Shelf.
In addition to the Dec. 6, event in Rutland, Phoenix Books will hold “Meet the Grinch” events at its two other locations:
Dec. 5, at 11 a.m., 21 Essex Way, Essex.
Dec. 5, at 2 p.m., 191 Bank St., Burlington.
The events are free and open to the public. For more information, Essex, 802-872-7111; Burlington 802-448-3350; Rutland, 802-855-8078 or visit www.phoenixbooks.biz.