Support Our Troops reports record breaking year

Dianne Edmondson

Hundreds of homemade cookies and dozens of Christmas gift cards made their way to military personnel last December, thanks to the Support Our Troops organization here in Robson Ranch. Robson Ranch Sweeties were the elves who baked the cookies.

This group presently supports 82 military men and women who are relatives of Robson Ranch residents. Last year, more than 500 gift boxes valued at more than $42,000 were sent to the troops that SOT supports. In total, a record-breaking $73,000+ was dispersed to the active duty military and the veteran-related charities that SOT supports (including the generous donations from the Featherheads golf group of more than $20,000 in the past five years.)

Among the most popular items were game consoles and games, donated by Game Stop, and which were shared among the five recreation centers in Afghanistan for our troops to enjoy on their days off.

Donna Chabot, Valerie Tarren, and Sally Baggott and their committee were the “packing and shipping team” whose efforts rivaled that of Old Saint Nick in making sure our troops had a Christmas filled with love and thanks.

The SOT raises its funds with a variety of projects including its legendary Silent Auction, Egg-Fest Dinner, an annual golf tournament and the Veterans Park memorial brick sales. The brick drive is currently underway for bricks which will be installed later this spring. Bricks honoring Veterans currently are for sale: 4” x 8” – $60; 8” x 8” – $110; 12” x 12” – $180. Call Darin Burk at 309-530-0124 to order. Darin and others are available to advise as to the wording on the bricks and can provide a gift certificate for the brick if desired.

We encourage anyone who would like to join us in supporting the active duty relatives of some Robson Ranch residents to attend our meetings, which are held at 1:00 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Lone Star Room in the Clubhouse. Dues are only $10 a year, which covers the administrative costs of the group, allowing all other proceeds to go directly to the service men and women.

President Susan Galbraith does an excellent job of keeping the meeting short and relevant, and surprised us with a wonderful short video presentation in January which was a unique salute to the various branches of the Armed Services. Let’s see what she will have for us next month!