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A doll, lifetime of memories for Eagle View third grader

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Nine-year-old Martika Ward received a special gift in February that she likely won’t forget.

When Martika’s family lost their home in Jenkins in late January to a house fire, Eagle View Elementary School second-grade teacher Rachel Sullivan asked the girl what she missed most from her lost possessions. When Martika replied that she missed her dollies, Sullivan and the rest of the Eagle View staff sprung into action.

Staff members pitched in their own money to purchase Isabelle, the American Girl doll Girl of the Year, and an extra doll outfit. Kindergarten teacher Jackie Duoos took it a step further, sewing 10 new outfits for the doll by hand, making each reversible and perfectly tailored to Isabelle’s dimensions.

“Seeing her (Martika’s) eyes, she’s so happy now,” Sullivan said. “It was such an awesome team effort.”

Martika’s mother, Sarah Jungels, said her daughter has played with the doll every day since receiving it.

A benefit for the family will be held from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the Jenkins VFW with dinner, live entertainment and a silent auction. Donations for Martika and her family can be sent to the Thomas and Sarah Jungels Benefit Fund at First National Bank of Walker in Jenkins, P.O. Box 186.

Chelsey Perkins can be reached at Follow her at or on Twitter @PEJ_Chelsey.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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