Although the United States has officially ended its seven-year combat mission in Iraq, tens of thousands of troops remain overseas. This Christmas, a dedicated group of Payson volunteers is determined to let soldiers know they are not forgotten.
Butch Klein and Lud Kaftan founded Payson Supply Line in January of 2005.
Every week, Klein ships out half a dozen care packages containing candy, food, books, shampoo, nail clippers, foot powder, socks, wet wipes and a letter that lets the recipient know these items were sent through donations of the community.
This holiday season, Payson Supply Line is teaming up with the Rim Country Health and Retirement Community and Granny’s Attic Antiques for Operation Christmas Blessing.
Special holiday boxes carrying Christmas trees, trimmings, decorations and stockings stuffed with goodies will be sent to troops in war zones along with other items not issued by the U.S. military. A typical box holds enough items for eight or more soldiers.
To fund this operation, raffle tickets are on sale at Granny’s Attic, 800 E. Highway 260, and Rim Country Health, 807 W. Longhorn Road. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.
“100 percent of funds generated will benefit U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Klein said.
Last year’s event brought in more than $6,000 in donations, a 50-percent increase in donations from 2008.
This year, more than 75 raffle items have been donated including two tickets for the Grand Canyon Railway and Verde Canyon Railroad, two-night stay at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, massage and facial with Francis Fork at Body Elegance and necklace from Payson Jewelers.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, the diner at Granny’s Attic will serve food, with all proceeds going toward the fund-raiser. At 3:30 p.m., the raffle drawing will start. You do not need to be present to win. For more information, online visit www. paysonsupplyline.com.
If you have a military friend or loved one stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan, please contact Payson Supply Line with their name and mailing address at paysonsupplyline@
yahoo.com, or call (928) 474-6968 or (928) 474-6981.