Anthrax fears may cause program to lose its heart -- and postmark

Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2001

LOVELAND, Colo. (AP) -- Valentine's Day is still three months away, but organizers of the city's 55-year-old Sweetheart remailing program fear that anthrax may keep them from playing Cupid.

In honor of Valentine's Day, the remailing program annually receives more than 200,000 valentines from lovebirds around the globe, imprints the cards with a Loveland postmark, then sends the mail to its far-flung destinations.

Last season, some 50 senior citizens, who form the heart of the program, hand-stamped 280,000 pieces of mail, said Loveland Postmaster Cathy Minter.

Program officials are worried about the safety of their volunteers after anthrax mail attacks spread deadly bacteria on the East Coast.

''It would be pretty hard for us to control if bioterrorism were going on,'' Minter said.

Officials said they will decide in late December whether to suspend the program.

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