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Simone Mayo, left, of Manchester, talks about all the stirring of ingredients involved in building Mr. Red the snowman, as Betty Gault of Dover checks out the scarf at The Inn at Deerfield on Wednesday. Residents spent three weeks creating the snowman. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

The Inn at Deerfield's snowman is truly a treat

DEERFIELD - Donning a bright red fondant scarf, a black top hat and a wide smile, visitors to The Inn at Deerfield will certainly recognize Mr. Red, as the residents have named him, as a snowman.

What might strike them on closer inspection, however, is that this man-sized creation greeting them in the foyer isn't quite the kind of snowman they're used, or even a snowman at all: Mr. Red is a cerealman.

Built by residents and staff with 105 boxes of crispy rice cereal, 315 packages of marshmallows, and 16 pounds of butter, Mr. Red stands 5 feet 5 inches tall in the foyer of the inn, an assisted living residence for people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

"It took weeks to make him," said Kelly, an administrator at the inn. "We couldn't do it all at once because we had to wait for it to get solid, so we worked on it for a couple of hours a day. The residents love him. We had a core group of residents who helped us put him together, and they were all over it."

Mr. Red was the brain child of another administrator, Kathie Brown, who is no stranger to unconventional projects like this one. Last year, Brown was the force behind another sizable, and equally edible, resident: a giant gingerbread man.

"That's what I like about working here," said Brown. "You can come up with this crazy idea and everyone thinks it's a good idea."

Mr. Red will be raffled at the inn in December. The funds will be used to replenish the resident activities fund, which brings arts and crafts, blueberry and pumpkin picking, picnics, entertainers, beach days, and other trips and activities to the inn's residents. Last year's gingerbread man was also raffled off, ultimately finding a new, if short-lived, home at the Manchester Soup Kitchen.

Mr. Red himself, however, was funded entirely by the families of residents and the staff who purchased and donated the materials, with an additional contribution of 100 boxes of cereal from Red Oak Properties out of Manchester.

The contributions don't end with donations, however. Fire Chief Mark A. Tibbetts has agreed to help the hefty Mr. Red out the door to his new home, just as the town rescue squad assisted last year.

Founded in 1983, The Inn at Deerfield is a nonprofit organization with 32 residents between 55 and 90, and a staff of 36.

bclogston@newstote.com

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