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ConVal Schools

Students adopt school ‘grandma’

Residents knits hats for everyone in Dublin Consolidated School community

Lolo Doughty of Dublin poses with a potted plant and oversized hat-shaped thank you card gifted to her by students of Dublin Consolidated School in April. Doughty knitted more than 60 hats for the children throughout the winter months.
Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Lolo Doughty of Dublin poses with a potted plant and oversized hat-shaped thank you card gifted to her by students of Dublin Consolidated School in April. Doughty knitted more than 60 hats for the children throughout the winter months. Courtesy photo Courtesy photo Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

DUBLIN — As summer approaches, the 60-plus students at the Dublin Consolidated School are still abuzz about the hand-knitted hats their adoptive grandmother made especially for each of them this winter.

“People call them their Lolo hats,” Susan Ellingwood, a third grade teacher, said of the colorful, personalized hats Lolo Doughty of Dublin made for everyone — including teachers and administrators — at the Dublin elementary school. “It started with just a couple of kids, but she has this big heart and doesn’t want to leave anyone out.”

Doughty’s grandson, 8-year-old Freeman Johnson, came into school at the start of the 2012-13 winter season with a blue and maroon hat knitted by Doughty. One of Johnson’s friends saw the hat and wanted one, too.

“I said, ‘OK, I’ll make you a hat,’” Doughty recalled in a recent phone interview. “Then another child wanted one. And then this little girl who I always see after school said she wanted a hat. The next day she said, ‘I have a brother.’”

Doughty laughed, adding she was taken aback by how deeply the children cherished a simple, little gift.

“But it’s my gift, not theirs. It was a privilege to make them,” Doughty said. “You should have seen their eyes light up. They are so precious.”

Rather than sit at home and watch TV on those cold winter days, Doughty said she was going to do something constructive. “I wasn’t going to go sledding,” she joked.

When Doughty picked her grandson up from school each day, she would ask students to share with her their favorite color, Ellingwood said. Doughty made some hats identical to each other, but sewed a bead inside each with students’ initials so they could tell them apart.

The generosity and love Doughty showed the students was incredible, and so greatly appreciated that the students asked Doughty to be their official Dublin Consolidated School “grandma” this April after gifting her with an oversized card and flowers, Ellingwood said.

The card was more than two feet tall, yellow and shaped like a hat, Doughty said. “It was so cute. If I talk about it too much, I’ll cry.”

Doughty recalled how one child returned a hat to her in a plastic bag because a dog had eaten the pom-pom off the top. So what did Doughty do? “I gave it back [repaired] with dog treats, of course,” she laughed.

After making so many hats for local children, Doughty said she’s contemplating what her next project will be, but hasn’t committed herself to anything yet. “Maybe I’ll start a trend,” she said. “There’s still mittens and socks.”

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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