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Ripon VFW Auxiliary sends gifts to GIs in Iraq & Afghanistan
topVFW 2057
Ripon elementary school children are putting their handmade Christmas cards into the boxes that were being filled with an assortment of special gift items. The children are, from left, Jackson Holt, Weston Elementary; Jeffrey Rogers, Ripon Elementary; Alexandra Fereria, Weston; Aiden Benzinger, Martin Udavi, Elisabeth Fereria and Mia Benzinger all from Weston Elementary School. Supporting the gift boxes in the rear are from left, Dennis Bitters, fire chief; Dale DeWeerd, Ripon Christian Elementary School principal, Red Nutt, chamber of commerce president and city council member; Debbie Timberlake of the VFW; Richard Bull, police chief; and Dean Uecker, councilman. - photo by GLENN KAHL

RIPON - Sheri Layson, president of the Ripon Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Auxiliary, is working hard to see that gift boxes get shipped out in time for the holidays to troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Through her efforts she obtained more than 4,000 greeting cards for the GI’s from some 4,000 children going to schools in Manteca, Lathrop and Ripon.  Sierra High School also participated in the card-writing efforts.

She directed a crew packing boxes last Friday at the VFW post on West Ripon Road where children from area elementary schools brought their hand-drawn Christmas cards to go into the gift boxes along with treats and toiletry  items.

The Del Monte Foods Corporation donated some 60 cases of fruit cups to go into the special boxes and the Knights of Columbus added cases of Tootsie Roll candy treats.  Layson added that the people of Del Webb in Manteca have been donating to the VFW cause for the past three years. 

Christmas is just one of four times during the year that the Ripon VFW Auxiliary sends their gift boxes overseas.

Layson said she lost her brother in Vietnam and wants to make sure the bad treatment of the GIs that occurred then doesn’t repeat itself.  She said that any donations of money are sure to support the shipping costs the VFW incurs.

“Please consider putting a smile on the face of one of our courageous men or women serving our country,” she asked.  “All you have to do is to make a Christmas card and address the card to a soldier.  The Ladies Auxiliary will pick up your cards and mail them to our heroic troops,” Layson said.