Doll Doctor Gives Back to Community
Jan Sutton, a Temple Terrace resident and former Weeki Wachee mermaid, says “anybody in a position to help should step up and do something.”
Editors Note: Did you see the Doll Doctor at the Westchase Fresh Market? Wondering what that's all about? Here's the answer...
Temple Terrace resident Jan Sutton believes in helping others—not just during the holidays but year-round.
The former Weeki Wachee mermaid, now 75, spends much of her spare time running a Doll Hospital and Teddy Bear Adoption Center from her home to benefit Joshua House, an 11-acre safe haven in Lutz for abused and neglected children ages 6-17.
“Those kids need it,” she said. “They’ve been thrown away by their parents.”
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Sutton is the resident physician of her Doll Hospital, restoring and repairing dolls and action figures. She uses her 20 years of experience in porcelain doll making and restoration to repair and replace limbs and eyes, remove wrinkles, style hair and make new clothes and accessories for old dolls.
“If your doll needs first aid, a transplant, or even life support, we can help,” Sutton’s brochure reads.
She’s also the adoption supervisor for her Teddy Bear Adoption Center. People donate new or gently used stuffed bears to Sutton, who sells them for $5 each at fairs and festivals around the Tampa Bay area. She was at the Temple Terrace Garden Club’s Sunday in the Park last month.
She also visits the Fresh Market at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel on the first and third Saturdays of the month, and The Westchase Fresh Market at the Westchase Town Center on the second Saturday of the month.
“Sometimes I find a bag of these (stuffed animals) on my front porch,” Sutton said, but the easiest way to donate is to find her at the two markets. If you need to set up a different time to meet with her, you can call her at 813-980-2507.
All of the proceeds from both of these efforts benefit Joshua House.
“I just feel that anybody in a position to help should step up and do something,” Sutton said.