Friday, December 12, 2014

Jingles and the Other "Not Forgotten Box" Mascots Part 2

So when did Jingles come out of hibernation and become involved with the Not Forgotten Box at the Chronicle-Telegram?

It was during the 1969 campaign – although he was but a nameless bear at that point. Here's the photo of Jingles and his pal, little Christy Murphy, that appeared in the C-T on December 6, 1969 (below).
As noted, he was originally donated by Penneys at Midway Mall.
He was such a big success that he was brought back the following year. The announcement of his return was the headline of the Chronicle-Telegram of November 27, 1970. It read: Not Forgotten Bear back at post.
The article, written by Pat Geisler, charmingly told the story of how the bear decided he'd rather work for the C-T than end up as a gift himself. "Donated last year by the J. C. Penney Co. at the Midway Mall, he was originally intended for some lucky child. But the bear, himself, took things in hand, and refused to leave his post at The Chronicle-Telegram  “Please," he begged, “this is what a bear like me was just made to do." Of course, C-T personnel argued back. After all, wouldn't he be happy in some warm, loving home, where he could have a little boy or girl all his own?

"The bear thought long and hard about it.  “No,” he finally said. He would miss the excitement, and all his friends at the C-T. He would miss having a real job to do. and he would miss being needed. So, the bear stayed. This year, he sits comfortably, again, at his post beside the Not Forgotten Box, waiting to thank all those who bring toys for children, and to guard the toys for Santa Claus till Christmas. And, sometimes, when people come to bring a toy to the box, if they watch very, very closely, and still believe in magic, he smiles."

Since then, the bear – christened "Jingles, the Christmas Bear" by the start of the 1971 campaign – has been the mascot of the Not Forgotten Box. And every year, the Chronicle-Telegram makes the giving season fun by coming up with a new angle to Jingle's story.

In 1995, he was kidnapped and held for ransom for almost a month – and the toys poured in to get him back. When he was set free, as the December 23, 1995 story explained, the abductors had been "won over by the 25-year-old, brown-furred, black-eyed, 3-foot-6, 17-pound symbol of the Chronicle's annual toy collection. They brushed his coat to a gleam. They put a Chronicle T-shirt on him. They tied a holiday bow to his collar.

"Jingles came back to the C-T precisely at 1:30 Friday afternoon, in the passenger seat of a sheriff's cruiser driven by Deputy Steven McCroskey."

In 1996, Jingles got married. His wedding to Noel, a large white plush bear, took place in front of church pews stuffed with er, stuffed bears and other plush animals.

Jingles' best man was a stuffed lion (below) – although I don't know if it was Lloyd or not.
Anyway, here's hoping the Not Forgotten Box is another big success this year – and I'm sure it will be. Special thanks to the Chronicle-Telegram for its devotion and support for their community through its campaign – as well as its dedication to making it fun through the use of their beloved mascot, Jingles.
Don't forget – Saturday is the last day for donations at the Not Forgotten Box in the Chronicle-Telegram lobby. Click here to visit the C-T website for all the details, as well as a great gallery of photos of donors posing with Jingles.

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