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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Alumni

Chocolate charms secret behind football championship?

Stan Willis
Stan Willis whips up one of his culinary specialties in the kitchen.

When the triumphant Lutes returned from their Division III championship game, the media covered just about every angle possible. One factor in their success, however, was overlooked-the lucky charms they carried.

Shortly before the Dec. 18 game, Stan Willis '38 was contemplating what to cook up before the week's sendoff. "Something extra for the champs," he said.

Willis, a longtime PLU supporter, retired in 1989 from a career that included teaching and administration at the university, and 34½ years with the U.S. Department of Defense, teaching in Spain, Puerto Rico and Germany.
After watching a candymaking demonstration at the Western Washington Fair in Puyallup, Wash., about six years ago, he registered for classes. He invested in some equipment and has been making candy for friends and relatives ever since.

This past year, he filled 85 boxes for holiday giving. Aside from his regular customers, though, he wanted to give the Lutes "something special" to celebrate their season.

Rummaging through his collection of candy molds--"way too many," he says, he found the perfect design. The result? One-hundred chocolate-flavored helmets. The following week, he whipped up a batch of miniature footballs, each embellished with the letters, "PLU."

Are his candies really lucky? He laughs at the suggestion that there's anything supernatural about his sweets. "It's just something fun," he says.

"It's nice when people take a personal interest in the players," said Frosty Westering, PLU's head football coach. "We receive so many things from well-wishers around the country, it's great to have something local. The candy helmets were mini-versions of the ones worn by our players. Willis personally distributed the candy before the players boarded the bus," he added.


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