Mt. Vernon Register-News

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October 12, 2013

Fundraiser held for Operation Iraqi Freedom

MT. VERNON — Organizers expect to meet or exceed their fundraising goal of $13,000 for this year's Jefferson County Operation Iraqi Freedom program.

A porkchop sales event was held Friday at Veterans Park to raise money for the effort.

As a result, over 900 meals were delivered and about 200 pick-up orders were served, said David Keen, chairman of the JCOIF Committee.

“We just had a tremendous outpouring of support from the community,” Keen said.

The volunteer effort raises funds to purchase military exchange cards for Jefferson County soldiers serving in war zones. The porkchop sales event is the program's major annual fundraiser.

Friday morning, the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building at Veterans Park was abuzz with activity as JCOIF volunteers worked quickly to bag up porkchop meals for delivery.

The porkchops were cooked that day, but orders were taken ahead of time. Each meal cost $7.

Those who purchased fewer than 10 orders were asked to pick them up at Veterans Park Friday. Orders of 10 or more porkchops were delivered.

Some of the larger delivery orders included 79 meals for Continental Tire, and 72 meals each for Napa and National Railway, Keen said.

“The community's just been fantastic and we've got a huge crowd (of volunteers) to help us,” Keen said.

One such volunteer was Rob Hamilton of Mt. Vernon, a Sergeant First Class in the Army/National Guard. He said the program is extremely beneficial.

“It's great to have the community come together like this to show support for one common cause,” Hamilton said. “And I know the troops really appreciate it.”

This year's goal is to raise $13,000 to provide about 15 soldiers with $800 exchange cards before Christmas. These are local soldiers serving in Afghanistan or the Afghanistan Theater of Operations.

The exchange cards, or PX cards, can be used at any military installation to buy various items either online or in person.

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