VYT gives back to military families, veterans
Valley Youth Theatre’s annual production of A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail brings joy to children and families all over the Valley each year. This year, VYT will use this holiday tradition to say thank you to our military men, women and families by donating an entire performance to the Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix). The donated performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Dec. 11, at the theater at 525 N. First St.
Vet Tix is a nonprofit organization that gives event tickets to our military, veterans and their families. It builds morale for soldiers about to be deployed, shows appreciation to returning soldiers and provides a sense of support and community to their families. VYT is proud to offer a performance for these families and to give back to those who have given so much.
For more information, visit www.VYT.com or call (602) 253-8188.
Wheelock activated for deployment
Army National Guard Sgt. Geoff J. Wheelock has been mobilized and activated for deployment overseas to a forward operating base in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Wheelock is a military police member of the 855th Military Police Company based in Phoenix. He has served in the military for five years.
He is the son of Jeff and Debbie Wheelock of Ahwatukee Foothills and is a 2004 graduate of Desert Vista High School.
Marines make donation in honor of fallen comrades
On Friday, Nov. 20, the East Valley Marines spread their protective arm over a special group of veterans representing all the branches of military service when they presented a check for $2,500 to the Arizona Veteran Home for a room refurbishment. The donation was in honor of John Maggio and Norman Barth, two of their charter members who recently passed away.
The primary goal of the East Valley Marines is hosting the Marine Corps Birthday Ball each November. Donations from supporters, businesses, members and families go towards financing the cost of the dinner for all active duty Marines and FMF Corpsmen. Any monies remaining are then donated to worthy causes to benefit Marine Corps and veteran projects.
Most recently, the East Valley Marines commissioned a seven-passenger golf cart, which was delivered to the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton for transport on the hospital grounds. Last week, $1,000 was donated to the Junior Marine ROTC at Casa Grande Union High School. Two days later the Marines were “on call” again at the Arizona Veteran Home for the room dedication.
Marines golf tourney to help the wounded
The East Valley Marine Corps League Detachment 1296 will host its annual golf scramble on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Oakwood Country Club in Sun Lakes. Shotgun starts at 8 a.m.
The cost is $80 per person and includes green fee, cart, lunch and prizes. Proceeds will go towards Marines Helping Marines, which directly benefits the wounded and those in rehabilitation.
The deadline to sign up is Feb. 15. This tournament is open to men and women and teams may be mixed. Foursomes are encouraged to be set up before registering. Please include the names of all players in the foursome, along with a contact phone number for the team captain, and mail one check per foursome made payable to East Valley Marines to Kathy Maggio, 10315 E. Coopers Hawk Drive, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248.
For more information, call Kathy at (480) 802-9897.
Marines play Santa to needy kids
The East Valley Marines are collecting toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, and the drive will continue until the week before Christmas. Last year, East Valley Marines collected approximately 3,000 toys, and they hope to do even better this year.
Once the toys are collected, they are sorted and batched and delivered to families in the Valley.
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program was established in 1947 and over the years has collected and distributed more than 402,000,000 toys.
To join the effort or find out where to drop your toys, call (480) 802-8156, (480) 802-7550 or (480) 759-1888.
Cell Phones for Soldiers, Great Choice Chiropractic collection drive
As a United States Veteran, Dr. Greg Hauser knows the importance and the joy of being able to call home when deployed. More than 150,000 troops are serving overseas and are away from their families. Cell Phones for Soldiers and Great Choice Chiropractic are calling on all Americans to support these brave men and women by donating unused cell phones. The cell phones are recycled for cash, and the proceeds are used to buy prepaid calling cards for soldiers serving in the Middle East. Cell Phones for Soldiers hopes to collect more than 50,000 cell phones this year to help keep troops connected with their families.
Phones may be donated at Great Choice Chiropractic, 15810 S. 45th St., Suite 160. Phones do not have to be in working order, and the drive is ongoing.
For more information, visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.
Groups help military families
Over the last five years, 1.6 million military service members have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. CAMP HOPE is a new fundraising campaign by Easter Seals and Epsilon Sigma Alpha International to provide camping opportunities for children of military families. A $600 contribution to CAMP HOPE will provide a week-long camping experience for these kids, allowing them to be kids again and also the opportunity to share their experiences with children of other service members. Any and all donations will provide services to support families learning to live with a service member facing newly acquired disabilities.
More information and CAMP HOPE support forms are available at www.esaintl.com/iccouncil/files/CampHope.pdf. Help say a much deserved “Thank You” to some of our youngest heroes.
Ahwatukee American Legion Post 64 and Veterans Club
The Ahwatukee American Legion Post 64 and Veterans Club meets at 3 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center, 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive. The next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 16.
For more information, contact Rod Green at (480) 496-6169.
TShirts 4 Soldiers helps people connect
The Home Sweet Home Campaign’s new program, TShirts 4 Soldiers, is helping people connect with their deployed loved ones. This unique and fun way to send a piece of your heart and home to a service member you love is making a big splash in the military world. Spouses, children, mothers and more are designing one-of-a-kind T-shirts and having them shipped directly to their loved one. In turn, service members are sending T-shirts they have designed back home to their family and friends.
For every T-shirt sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to USA Cares Warrior Treatment Today Program, which seeks to remove the financial barrier that prohibits veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Traumatic Brain Injuries from receiving the treatment they need.