A Christmas star

Port Alberni war vet uses creative talent to feed youth.

Earnie Bodger

Earnie Bodger of Port Alberni is a star in the eyes of the ADSS Breakfast Program volunteers.

Bodger—known as the Star Man—raised well over $2,000 for the program by selling glittery stars, which Scotiabank will match, customer representative Kathy Ruissen said..

“It’s amazing, the support he’s shown for us,” says Melody Burton, chair of the ADSS Breakfast Program.

Bodger, 93 and a veteran of the Second World War, started making his stars six years ago, but only a few at first.

“The first three years I was busy building a model railroad [which has been displayed at the Port Alberni Train Station]. I didn’t really get into the stars until three or four years ago,” he said.

The ceiling in his living room is covered in stars, and people will often come to his home to buy stars. “It’s my showcase,” he said.

For two years his stars were sold at an art show booth at the Italian Hall after he was approached by another artist. He made $300 the first year.

This is his second year selling Earnie Bodger made 700 stars to sell at Port Alberni's Scotiabankhis stars at Scotiabank. He chose the Breakfast Program to raise funds for because the bank supports the program and will match the funds. “And this is my bank,” he said.

Bodger started making this year’s batch of stars in January, shortly after selling the bulk of his supply last Christmas. He has a workshop in his home where he meticulously cuts out the star parts from recycled cardboard, then coats them with glue and fine glitter in varying colours. The stars themselves are three-dimensional and an adult can easily fit two or three of them in the palm of the hand.

Some of the stars are much larger with more intricate parts, and these models Bodger started making so he could personalize them with letters that he has also cut out.

By last Friday, he has sold most of the 500–700 stars he created for this year’s fundraiser.

Bodger’s health has suffered in the past year, but he still managed to bring his table full of stars to Scotiabank in the Redford Plaza all last week.

As for the Star Man, he’s thinking of making crosses he can sell at Easter; he made several small and large crosses that sold well at Christmas, and he hopes to add this new fundraiser for the Breakfast Program. “If I’m still alive,” he said, grinning.

editor@albernivalleynews.com