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Ladies of Harley members send packages to U.S. troops

December 20, 2009

The Ladies of Harley gathered with more than 40 volunteers at the Community Building in Byron Memorial Park Dec. 2 for some special work. They packed boxes with food, treats, personal items and decorations to be mailed to U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

Roberta Nave, Ladies of Harley officer, said this is the fourth year the group has organized the project.

"We do this twice a year, but this is the largest shipment we have ever made, about twice what we sent last year," Nave said. "This Christmas, we 'adopted' an entire platoon, 147 soldiers, and we're making sure they all have a home-style Christmas dinner. In addition to the platoon, 19 individual soldiers will receive packages. Seven are names given to us of area soldiers. Twelve are names sent by soldiers for soldiers who would otherwise receive no mail or packages."

The Ladies of Harley make quilts and raffle them to raise funds throughout the year. The group is part of Williamsport HOG Chapter 1544, which has 325 members.

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Quad State Riders (a motorcycle club), Martin's, Weis, Bulldog Detachment of the U.S. Marine Corps League, and numerous donations from citizens in the community all contributed to the success of the project.

"This year, the requested item was hand warmers. We were blessed to find a company, Heat Factory, that donated 668 pairs and paid for the shipping," Nave said.

"We work with various causes throughout the year - Toys for Tots, CASA, REACH, the Humane Society," said John Beair, a member of Williamsport HOG Chapter 1544.

"There's a lot of veterans in our group, so this project is especially close to us. We're proud to do this."

Peggy Rohr, guidance counselor at Williamsport Elementary School, brought 600 Christmas cards and more than 100 pounds of candy.

She said all the cards were made by the students in each grade, who also donated the candy. Rohr and some WES students also helped with the packing.

Nelson and Betsy Deal from the Bulldog Detachment, U.S. Marine Corps League, said members from their organization were glad to help with donations and packing.

In all, 157 boxes were packed, each ranging in weight up to 70 pounds. A Harley flag signed by the members of Chapter 1544 was packed in one of them.

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