Magic show helps K-9 program

The 11th annual “Take a Bite out of Crime” Merrimack Crimeline Magic Show recently was presented at American Legion Post 98 to support the Merrimack Police K-9 program.

An outdoor crime-fighting demo by K-9 dog, Pluto, and Officer Stephen Wallen, was a highlight of the event as were nearly a dozen magicians.

The pair demonstrated K-9 procedures. The dog, a 60-pound Belgian Malinois, sniffed out drugs hidden by Wallen. It chased a fleeing offender, played by a fellow officer wearing padded gear. A big, toothy mouthful of glove remained clenched in Pluto’s jaws until Wallen gave an order to cease the attack.

Pets Choice, a longtime sponsor, supplies Pluto with food and other products throughout the years. Merrimack resident Hannah Johnson, an associate of the Pets Choice store at 454 Daniel Webster Highway, distributed dozens of free sample packets of dog food to visitors.

“It’s great to have people come out to show their support for the program,” Johnson said. “It really helps out the Merrimack Police Department.”

The K-9 demo ended and visitors returned to the hall to see more performers from Granite State Magicians, based in Lyndeborough. Card tricks and feats of prestidigitation mystified the audience.

Granite State Magicians officers Joseph Caulfield Esq., and his wife, Kathy Caulfield, who recently were inducted into Bizarre Magick Italia, a renowned Italian magic organization, commended the day’s performers.

Among the magicians thanked during the April 13 show were Don Sanborn, of Merrimack; Wayne Harmon, of Hudson; and Dana Holleran, of Manchester; along with Gary Carr, of Merrimack; and Jim Macdonald, of Colebrook. Fellow clown Nancy Frankel, of Bedford, better known as “Corky the Clown” grinned through her colorful face paint.

“This is a wonderful event with a great bunch of people,” Frankel said. “We’re proud of our support.”

Oonagh Williams, president for 2019 of the Merrimack Crimeline organization, a nonprofit operated by volunteers to enable the anonymous reporting of crime in the town, thanked all who made the day a grand success. Merrimack Police Community Relations Officer Bill Vandersyde also was on hand to discuss crime prevention.

Cash bought raffle tickets, hot dogs and chilled sodas. Volunteers including Lyle Swanson, a 20-year veteran of Merrimack Crimeline, and President Oonagh Williams, along with Susan Ducharme, scholarship chairman, and Rachael Howe, volunteer, added donuts to the menu and served guests.

The Lebel family, Merrimack residents, were newcomers to the event. Michelle and Stephen Lebel said the magicians and the K-9 demo were amazing. Kids Greyson, Sherry and Caleb added lots of tickets to the raffle of gift cards, toys, tools and jewelry.

“We came for the first time to show the kids the magic show and the K-9 demonstration,” said Stephen. “We’re having a really good time.”

The Merrimack Crimeline, 424-2424 is available 24 hours. Tips by phone or online (merrimackcrimeline.org) remain anonymous. No caller ID is used. A code number is given that can earn anonymous cash if the tip solves a crime. Calls for immediate police help go to 911.

Loretta Jackson may be contacted via email: