Magic comes to the Grange for toy fundraiser

Jun 18, 2023

Magic came to the Dartmouth Grange on Saturday, June 17, as part of Dartmouth United Outreach’s annual Toy Fund. 

Finding a magician couldn’t have been easier: United Outreach's director, Lyn Dillies, is a professional illusionist. 

Along with her assistant TJ, Dillies performed over an hour of illusions and jokes for a full house at the Dartmouth Grange, with all ticket sales going toward holiday toys. Last year, United Outreach’s toy drive helped over 600 families. 

“I’m sure that you could all use some magic in your lives,” Dillies said during the show.

She frequently invited members of the audience up on stage as part of her show, such as a trick where she appeared to float 8-year-old Aubrey Kundrot on a table. After the show, Kundrot said she didn’t know how Dillies performed the trick even though she was a part of it. Kundrot confirmed that she now believes in magic. 

Seven-year-old Ruby Cagle likewise believes in magic after the show, which was her first time seeing a magician.

Another trick featured a member of the audience with his head in a stock and a metal plate seemingly through his neck. Cagle’s great aunt, Judi Grimley, said her grandniece thought the man’s head would roll right toward them in the front row. 

The show’s grand finale featured a trick Houdini made famous called “the Metamorphosis,” in which Dillies locks her assistant in a bag inside a wooden box, then pulls a curtain over herself and instantly switches positions with her assistant.  

United Outreach began during the pandemic in partnership with YMCA SouthCoast’s Full Plate Project, which provides seniors and families in need with food assistance. 

Grimley said she’s been aware of United Outreach’s work for a while, and appreciates that the program serves people without much prior paperwork. 

“You can just show up,” Grimley said. “From what I understand, they've been serving a lot of people a week ... There’s just a lot of need in this area.”

United Outreach’s toy drive started in December 2020. Around December, collection boxes will be available at Town Hall, the YMCA and to-be-determined locations around town. 

If people would like to donate before the holidays, Dillies said toys or checks can be dropped off at the Dartmouth YMCA at 276 Gulf Road.