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Seniors provide holiday cheer to the troops

From the left, Marda Sticher, Mike Tankersley, Nancy Tull and Shirley Rasmussen fill boxes with necessities and treats for service men and women spending their holidays away from family. - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
From the left, Marda Sticher, Mike Tankersley, Nancy Tull and Shirley Rasmussen fill boxes with necessities and treats for service men and women spending their holidays away from family.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

Not everyone can be home for the holidays. It’s a fact of life for military communities across the nation.

To spread a little overseas holiday cheer, the Oak Harbor Senior Center collected donations and spent the day in a conference room packing camo-colored gift boxes full of necessities like toothpaste and Gold Bond - and luxuries such as cookies and hot chocolate packets.

In another room, volunteers filled out international shipping forms for the care packages, which will make their way to 100 Whidbey Island Naval Air Station personnel who will spend the holidays away from their families.

Pat Gardner, an administrative assistant at the Senior Center, helped coordinate the efforts and purchased the goodies with donations.

The gals a Wal-Mart got a kick out of the receipt, she said of the hundreds of small personal-sized items she bought with the donated funds.

“They had never seen such a long receipt before,” she said, adding that she enjoys helping the fellows from local squadrons.

The Oak Harbor Rotary Club, Dr. Gary Berner, DDS, All State Insurance, Aplets and Cotlets and Wal-Mart contributed money and goods for the cause.

Perhaps the biggest donor of all is Burley Funeral Chapel, which donated all the camouflage boxes and paid for the shipping of each parcel.

Burley is happy to help others spread holiday joy through care package to our nation’s troops. Instructions, box and customs forms may be picked up at Burley’s. Fill the box with goodies and return to Burley. They’ll take care of the shipping.

For more information call 360-675-3192, or drop by Burley at 30 SE Ely St., Oak Harbor.

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