MT. VERNON – After nine years, the Jefferson County Operation Iraqi Freedom program is still going strong and organizers are optimistic about the success of an upcoming fundraiser for the effort.
The volunteer program seeks to raise funds to purchase military exchange cards for Jefferson County soldiers serving in war zones.
This year’s goal is to raise $13,000 to provide 15 soldiers with $800 exchange cards before Christmas. These are local soldiers serving in Afghanistan or the Afghanistan Theater of Operations.
“The entire community comes together to remember our military personnel,” said David Keen, chairman of the Jefferson County Operation Iraqi Freedom Committee. “A lot of times, they are over there fighting for our freedom and they think they are forgotten. This is a way for the community to thank them.”
The program’s main fundraiser is a porkchop sales event, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Veterans Park. This year’s fundraiser is being named in honor of Joyce and Harold Poorman and Dr. Judii York, all of whom passed away recently.
Joyce Poorman was the former co-chair of the Operation Iraqi Freedom Committee. York, a retired District 80 school administrator, helped raise funds for the annual program.
“We wanted to do something to honor them this year,” Keen said.
Charles York of Mt. Vernon, Judii York’s husband, said naming the fundraiser after his wife is a fitting tribute to her years of dedication to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“I think it’s just one more honor that she’s achieved even now after her passing,” Charles said. “People are never going to forget her for what she did, especially for Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
The porkchops are cooked on the day of the fundraiser, but orders are taken ahead of time. Each porkchop meal costs $7.
Those who purchase fewer than 10 orders can pick them up at Veterans Park on Oct. 11. Orders of 10 or more porkchops will be delivered.