ELYRIA, Ohio - Marky Maypo made many children and parents happy. For those old enough to remember, you may recall Maypo cereal was a hit in the 1950s and 60s. And if you sent in enough box tops you could score a Marky Maypo doll.
Patty Pasternak loved her Maypo cereal. Her mom squirreled away the box tops until she had enough to send them off and get her Marky Maypo doll.
"He used to sit on the table while I ate," she explained.
Some 40 years later, the doll that brought a smile to her face ended up in a roundabout way bringing a smile to many more kids.
Patty works at the Lorain County Job and Family Services, and brought the doll in to work to show it off. But one day she came in to find the doll had been kidnapped. Then, the ransom notes began coming in. They said if she ever wanted to see Marky Maypo again, she had to follow specific instructions.
The first note told her to dress up as Marky for the day. The second demanded she tie yellow ribbons around the office. Day three -- the final note -- asked Patty to do a kind deed.
So, Patty asked her boss if it was OK to have a dress down day for $5.
"Some of my fellow co-workers gave me $25 and $30 bucks," Patty explained.
When it was all said and done, they raised $750. With the generous donations, they were able to buy 100 toys for young children for the holidays.
After all of the ransom notes were fulfilled, Marky Maypo was returned to his rightful owner.
"I still don't know who kidnapped him," Patty said. Since the doll is safe and sound where it belongs, Patty isn't mad the ransom notes led to holiday cheer for many deserving children.