Many deployed soldiers received special Christmas gifts in 2013, courtesy of Blue Star Mothers Lake Erie New York Chapter 4 in Chautauqua County.
This year, the organization was able to send 578 boxes filled with non-perishable food and other items such as hand cream and soaps. The postage costs totaled almost $8,700, which the mothers were able to afford because of fundraisers and donations. One of those fundraisers is familiar to local residents; Westfield's First Presbyterian Church Mission Committee, according to Henry "Hank" Lynn, chairman, who reported that the gift was $200 toward shipping.
According to Blue Star member Barbara Kittle, the group "adopted" Watertown's Fort Drum and sent each individual member a Christmas package. "We had an amazing year (in 2013) with our Christmas Care packages," she said. "Thank you to everyone who had anything to do with collecting items (for the boxes), donations and helping out with our organizational night and our packing day."
Blue Star Mothers gratefully accept a $200 check from Westfield First Presbyterian Church’s Mission Committee Chairman Henry Lynn. The gift went toward the cost of postage to send Christmas gifts to deployed service men and women. Blue Star members saying thank you were Karen Baglia, Jane Chapman, Barb Kittle, Susan Rowley, Cindy Reidy, Cecelia Nosel, Tami Downey, Rose Soldano, Michele King and Darlene Swan.
Mrs. Kittle said that in addition to the Christmas gifts, the organization also sends packages on Easter and Valentine cards, many of which come from area school children. She added that any family that has a son or daughter or family member serving in the military who is a deployed soldier should contact the Blue Star Mothers.
The next get-together of the Blue Star Mothers is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, beginning with breakfast at 9 a.m. followed by a business meeting at the Airport Restaurant at 3163 Terminal Drive, Jamestown. "All are welcome," said Mrs. Kittle.
Blue Star Mothers present when Lynn presented the Presbyterian check were Karen Baglia, Jane Chapman, Barb Kittle, Susan Rowley, Cindy Reidy, Cecelia Nosel, Tami Downey, Rose Soldano, Michele King and Darlene Swan.
To contact Blue Star, telephone 716-569-4543, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to Facebook, Blue Star Mothers Lake Erie NY 4.