Annual Event Seeks Volunteers & Deployed Addresses To Send Cards For Troops

By Kathy L Collins

When you want to send a holiday card, all you have to do is go to the local store and purchase one. But if you are one of the thousands of military service personnel stationed around the world in remote and dangerous locations such as Afghanistan or Iraq, there is no local store. It is for this reason that the Annual Cards For Troops was started.

The Fifth Annual Cards For Troops, co-sponsored by Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association and The Community Roundtable, will be held on Saturday, October 6, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Center Place, located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. This is a free event where volunteers will come together to assemble beautiful hand-made cards for the troops. All cards are left blank so that the troops can fill them out and send them to their friends and family.

Since its inception, Cards For Troops has grown from 175 volunteers sending 1,200 cards to 200 people making 3,000 cards. Volunteers much be 16 years and older to participate. An event geared toward children is being planned by Center Place.

Dawn Galia, executive director of Center Place, said, “We received many e-mails last year from troops thanking the Brandon Community for their thoughtfulness. The cards were greatly appreciated.” __Galia added, “Since Center Place is a fine arts center, having the community come together to create hand-made card for our troops is an event that we look forward to each year.”

Janine Nickerson, vice president of The Community Roundtable, said, “We are excited to offer this opportunity to support our soldiers again. Small remembrances such as this give the troops a chance to send a special message to their loved ones.”

There are many ways that you can help with this wonderful event. You can come out and help assemble the cards or make a donation to help to pay for the cost of the supplies. All donations in increments of $100 will have the donor’s name placed on the label attached to 100 cards. If you have the full address of a service personnel stationed overseas, contact Center Place at 685-8888.

For more information on the Fifth Annual Cards For Troops, please visit www.centerplacebrandon.org.