Dollhouse to Delight Winner, Benefit Kennebunk Legion Scholarship Fund

John Dulude has made several dollhouses over the years, donating many of them to various organizations. This nine-bedroom colonial will be raffled off to benefit the Webber-Lefebvre American Legion Post 74 Scholarship Fund, which provides a scholarship each year to a Kennebunk High School graduate. Photo by Tammy Wells

KENNEBUNK – John Dulude built dollhouses for his daughters years ago. Then, more than 20 years later, he took up this hobby again after retiring from the insurance business he owned.

He recently competed in a nine-room Colonial with wrap-around porch and gazebo, which will be raffled off by Webber-Lefebvre Post American Legion 74 in Kennebunk, of which he is a member. Proceeds from the raffle will go to the scholarship fund – the Legion Post provides a scholarship to a Kennebunk High School graduate each year.

Dulude builds the houses from kits, favoring those from the Vermont Toy Company and a New Hampshire manufacturer, but goes much further – meticulously installing elements such as plank-by-plank hardwood floors, other flooring, wallpaper and even the doors that separate each room.

“I did all the stairs on the stairs,” he said recently. He installed the shingles one at a time, row by row – laying down two rows of shingles before pausing and waiting for the glue and paint to dry, then adding two more rows, and so on. The wallpaper was a little tricky, until he got used to using wallpaper paste, he said, and the result was a smooth surface, as it was supposed to be.

The interior of the nine-room colonial dollhouse built by John Dulude, a Wells resident and member of Webber-Lefebvre Post 74 in Kennebunk. Dulude donated the dollhouse, which the Legion will raffle off to benefit its scholarship fund. Photo by Tammy Wells

The dollhouse features six out of six windows and an oval pane in the front door.

This is the third he made and donated to the Legion. He estimated that it took him three months to build, on and off.

Member Bob De Clercq said the Legion Post will draw 150 tickets, at $10 each. Tickets are available from him at [email protected]or 781-264-5178 or John Gouveia at [email protected] or 516-236-9244.

“John was extremely generous in giving us these dollhouses,” De Clercq said. He noted that the dollhouse measures 40 inches wide by 30 inches high and 25 inches deep.

“This dollhouse is ready to be furnished and will provide many hours of fun and enjoyment for a child or grandchild,” said De Clercq. “The draw for the dollhouse winner will take place on December 7, enough time for holiday gifts.”

Dulude has donated dollhouses to benefit other causes and organizations, donating houses to St. David’s Church and an inn in Ogunquit that used it as a raffle item to benefit the Foundation Make-A-Wish.

Dulude, 84, said making dollhouses kept him busy and he was currently working on another – a castle, which will benefit St David’s Church. He estimates that he has made 20 dollhouses.

The castle, he says, is seven feet high. “I’m building it in two parts so I can get it out of the cellar.”

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