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Miss Emery prepares holiday gifts for soldiers

Miss Emery Holly Damron puts the letters and cards from Emery school children into a box for a local serviceman.
Holly Damron and Jan Hess work to compact a polar fleece blanket to make it fit into a box.

As her platform during the Miss Emery Scholarship Pageant, Holly Damron selected a program dear to her heart. She named her platform Help and Support for Local Military Soldiers and Their Families. Following her win and crowning as Miss Emery, Holly was kept fairly busy during the summer months and then off to college for the fall.

Holly never let her platform get too far from her thoughts. During these past months, she has been collecting items and soliciting Christmas cards from elementary students, to be packed up and shipped to local soldiers serving overseas.

On Nov. 25, Holly, along with several members of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 42, met at the Ferron Senior Citizen Center to pack up the boxes with special gifts for the guys. "This year we only have four local servicemen overseas, compared to the 22 we did last year," said Holly. With only four servicemen, the items collected amounted to enough to more than adequately fill the boxes.

"I would like to thank everyone who helped me with this project," said Holly. "Mary Steadman and Ruth LaBar had great ideas and supported me monetarily. Shirley Michell crocheted the warm hats for the soldiers. Many Emery elementary students contributed by making Christmas cards and letters to be included in the packages. A great sorority group from Green River made polar fleece blankets for each soldier. Mr. and Mrs. Keith Wright donated books. Last but not least, the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary, and founder of Operation Home Support Jan Hess, for all the help and support they gave me."

The shipping boxes were loaded with the blankets, hats, personal items, crackers, candy, gum, notebooks, pens, a calendar, cookies, jerky, and books. Every inch of space in the boxes was utilized with one of the gathered items. The Auxiliary members, Jan Hess, Laverna Petersen, Gina Swasey and her daughter Sarah, and Janet Damron each participated with a donation for the boxes, and the know-how to pack them.

Holly added, "My mom and dad have also been a great support and inspiration to me. My entire family has helped. Thank you."

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