SANTA FE SPRINGS — Everybody has some hidden skill--some knack for doing the darndest thing right every time he or she tries it.
Tom Franklin's knack is for winning amusement park games, like boom ball, the basketball shoot and baseball toss. Franklin often wins 10 out of 10 times, he says, and over the years, he has provided his five children with more stuffed animals than they could ever possibly play with.
At Christmas, he decided to put his skill to charitable use by winning toys for hospitalized children. Supplied with quarters by his employer, The Bicycle Club, where he is a poker dealer and floor man, Franklin bought a pass to Knott's Berry Farm and began accumulating the more than 75 small, medium and giant-sized stuffed animals he presented to the patients at Los Amigos Medical Center on Feb. 13. Los Amigos is a county rehabilitation center in Downey for patients with chronic and catastrophic illnesses.
Because Knott's Berry Farm limits the number of prizes a competitor can win at one time, it took Franklin numerous trips to get enough presents for all the children in the hospital.