Collections for Soldiers Stationed in Afghanistan

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Faye Woomer, of Oak Ridge, gives a shopper a “soldier wish list.”

Collections for items to be sent to the our soldiers serving in Afghanistan were held today at the A&P on Berkshire Valley Road in Oak Ridge and at the Pathmark on Route 15 in Lake Hopatcong. Shoppers were given wish lists for items they could purchase for the soldiers’ “care packages” entering the store and dropped them off at the store exit. Donors were asked to sign the flag that would be sent with the packages. All left heartfelt messages of gratitude.

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The collection table was manned by Sue Elam and Phil and Helen Engle of Oak Ridge. Sue’s husband, Col. John (“Jeff”) Elam, and her son, 1 Lt. Christopher Elam, are both serving in Aghanistan. Jeff, in the Army Reserve, is Deputy Brigade Commander of the 411th Engineer Brigade and is stationed at Bagram Airfield. Chris, also an Army Engineer, is serving active duty with the 82nd Airborne Division and is in FOB Sharana. Maj. Philip Engle, Jr., also with the 411th, is stationed in Kandahar and coordinates maintenance programs and movement of engineering equipment and soldiers.

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Sue Elam and Phil and Helen Engle of Oak Ridge at the donations table.

Last week’s fundraiser hosted by the Jefferson House on Lake Hopatcong raised $1,000 to help cover the cost of mailing these care packages to our soldiers. Diners  donated a percentage of their food bill by mentioning Operation Enduring Freedom to their server.

“We kind of swamped them [at the Jefferson House].” said Jack Kelly of the American Legion Post #423. “There was quite a crowd. We appreciated everybody who came out- we appreciate anything that anybody does.”

Items can still be donated – Click here for a list of Operation Enduring Freedom donation cans around Jefferson Township.

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Phil & Helen Engle, Sue Elam and receive a donation from Jim Zajdel and Laura Gennet of Oak Ridge.

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