The Grinch paid a visit to Towanda Saturday at Ben Franklin Crafts on Main Street as part of a national initiative launched by Random House Children's Books called Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes.

Ben Franklin Store Manager Jay Cory latched on to the idea when he heard of it and brought the campaign to Towanda.

The one day event included Grinch related child activities, a reading of How The Grinch Stole Christmas and professional pictures with the furry green creature taken by Tami Seddon of GAJ Photographs.

Children who attended the event were given a good deeds chart and a post card to be mailed back to Random House book publications detailing their three favorite good deeds they did during the month of December. For each postcard that is mailed in, Cory said a non-profit local community organization will receive a free book.

Random House lists the objective for the Grinch event as a way to reinforce the message that Christmas is not just about gifts, but doing things direct from the heart.

It couldn't have been more evident, Cory said, as one of the children at the store told him she hopes the Grinch can donate $10 to victims of Typhoon Haiyan, a storm that devastated the Philippines in November.

Cory also outlined another faucet to the Grinch-mas event.

The store that best markets the Grinch-inspired day will receive a scholarship to the 2015 Winter Institute. Cory said he thinks Ben Franklin's chances are strong to win the contest.

At the entrance of the store was a stand selling Grinch themed cookies from T-Town Bakery and Grinch decorated flowers and arrangement from Baskets, Blooms and Beyond. Cory said he thought it was important to include other local businesses in the festivities because it was a good opportunity to support the local economy and help the downtown area grow stronger.

Kids were also getting Grinch themed hair styling done in the store free of charge by Marilyn Daugherty and 11-year-old Harley Coyne.

The initiative is intended for book stores across the nation, and because Ben Franklin Crafts has a book department they were eligible, Cory explained. He said he has hopes of expanding the book area of the store soon.

The next big day for Ben Franklin Crafts: The Towanda Christmas Parade, where Santa will be paying a visit to the store right after the parade ends on Friday.

Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or e-mail: