Magic Stories

Home is Where the Bench Is.

The first Merlin Buddy Bench found a home at the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph’s County, an organization near and dear to Merlin and Kelly’s hearts. The second is on their kids school playground and another is headed to a family-favorite, Camp Eberhart, in Three Rivers, Michigan.

Wait. What?? We get to keep it?

When the first Merlin Buddy Bench arrived a the Boys & Girls Club, one of the young members saw it and this it the conversation that transpired:

  • Girl: Ooooohhhhh…. I love it. Ooooohhhh, I really love that bench.
  • Lissa: Great. I’m glad you like it.
  • Girl: Where are you going with it?
  • Lissa: To the playground.
  • Girl: Why?
  • Lissa: Because that is where it is supposed to go. It’s a gift to the Club.
  • Girl: Wait. What? We get to keep it?
  • Lissa: Yes.
  • Girl: AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I’m so excited!!!!!!!!! It’s so pretty!!!!!

The Magic Really Works.

Two days after the Merlin Buddy Bench was presented to the kids’ school, a mother approached Kelly to tell her about a conversation she had with her 8 year old son. It went a little like this:

  • Mom: How was your day today?
  • Son: I have good news and bad news. What do you want to hear first?
  • Mom: Well, lets get the bad news over with. 
  • Son: OK. Well, I felt like I was totally being left out of all the games on the playground today.
  • Mom: Oh, I’m sorry to you felt that way.
  • Son: But, mom, I have great news…It works! The magic actually works! I sat on the Merlin Buddy Bench and TWO of my friends, who weren’t even playing together, ran over and asked me to play with them. Can you believe it??

It brought tears to her eyes. And as she relayed the story to me, the same thing happened to me. I was so grateful that the kids in our children’s school were taking part of the magic!!

The Magic at the Auctions

Kelly has donated Merlin Buddy Benches to the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County annual auction, raising more than $25,000 in donations. The generosity of the members in her community never cease to amaze. What a beautiful way to carry on Merlin’s legacy of treating others with kindness. More benches on playgrounds AND much-needed donations for an incredibly important organization!! Doesn’t get much better.

Greatest Kids Event


Mike and Karen Leep, John and Barb Phair, Manette Tepe, Tim and Mary Baker and Chris and Carmi Murphy for sharing the magic with others.

Is That Green??

Kelly is participating in the 2019 annual fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County, the Greastest Kids Event. Joining her is an 11 year old member of the Club named Willow, who has outstanding character and shows kindness to others. Together, they are Team Green.

Kelly created this One-and -Only GREEN Merlin Buddy Bench for this event. She and Willow plan to take the bench on a “Road Show” to share the Magic of Friendship and the Magic of the Club. Then the bench will be auctioned off at the celebration. Who will be the winner? The Club…because that is where the proceeds will go!! Talk about magic!