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PJs for Xmas to be recognized by State Moose Association

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Ogdensburg-based nonprofit group PJs for Xmas is getting state-wide recognition.

Abigail F. and Camille E. Marshall, founders of PJs for Xmas, are headed to Grand Island, outside of Buffalo, to receive the Citizens of the Year Award from the New York State Moose Association.

William D. Perry, chairman of the Community Service Committee for the Association, said the girls have “done so much in the last three years.”

The Ogdensburg Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge submitted the girls’ names for consideration.

PJs for Xmas began in 2009 as a way to help needy children in St. Lawrence County.

“At Christmas time we give pajamas to the needy children,” Abigail said.

At the time, Abigail was 10 and Camille was 13.

“They’re pretty motivated,” Melissa Carroll-Durham, their mother, said. “They love doing it.”

Now 13 and 16, respectively, the girls have grown their organization to an award-winning nonprofit.

In 2009 PJs for Xmas won the St. Lawrence County Community Development Volunteer Award, and in 2010 won the St. Lawrence County Hero Award from the Jules of Life Foundation.

Last year the girls were recognized by state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, through a Senate resolution in Albany.

Since 2009 PJs for Xmas has given out 5,530 pairs of pajamas, Abigail said.

“It’s very impressive,” Mr. Perry said of the effort.

The award will be presented at the state Moose Association Mid-Year Conference at the Grand Island Holiday Inn April 5 and 6, with all expenses for the girls paid by the Association.

Abigail is an eighth-grader at the Ogdensburg Free Academy and an altar server at Notre Dame Church with her sister.

Abigail also plays soccer, is part of the school band, is in the North Country Community Orchestra and is a member of the Junior High Honor Society.

Camille is a junior at OFA and is a cheerleader, part of the marching band, and a member of the National Honor Society.

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