The city of Soldotna’s Red, White and Blue Program has managed to get 75 boxes of donated items mailed to members of the U.S. military.
During his mayor’s report to the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, Dave Carey said he and his brother, Mike Carey, took the packages to the Soldotna Post Office earlier in the day and arranged to have all the boxes mailed to troops on the city’s Red, White and Blue Program mailing list, which includes the names of 56 Soldotna-area men and women serving in the military around the globe.
Desiring to send the troops a taste of Alaska, the mayor solicited donations of canned salmon to be sent to the service members. The fish, as well as pairs of socks, bandanas, toiletries and other items, came pouring in. As much as 4 1/2 pallets of goodies were collected, but an offer of no-cost military air shipping fell through and Mayor Carey decided to mail the packages.
He and Sen. Tom Wagoner started a mailing fund with donations of $500 each.
At Wednesday’s council meeting, Mayor Carey reported that First National Bank also kicked in $1,000.
“While we were at the post office this morning, people in line gave us another $120 when they found out what we were doing,” the mayor said.
People wishing to make additional donations to get remaining materials mailed to the troops have until May 19 Armed Forces Day and Military Appreciation Day on the Kenai Peninsula the date set by Carey as the deadline for raising money needed to mail the collected items to the troops.
At the council meeting, the mayor also publicly thanked City Manager Tom Boedeker’s administrative assistant Sue Wilcox for taking the time to complete U.S. Customs forms required for each of the 75 boxes mailed Wednesday.
Originally established to get cards and letters written and mailed to soldiers serving away from Soldotna, the Red, White and Blue Program has expanded to include sending other donated items such as ground coffee, Girl Scout cookies and canned Alaska salmon.
Carey has said the program will take a summer hiatus and resume with the new school year in the fall.
Phil Hermanek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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