"Today my unit received a care package which was a nice surprise and much needed treat. When it was announced that the package came in, it was soon swarmed. The sight looked like a bunch of lions eating a gazzle. We cannot fully express our gratitude, not only for the care package but for the thought of putting it together. It is an honor and privilege to serve the American People and the Constitution."
Semper Fidelis, Capt. Zan Christensen Union III ITAM-Army/OPS
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Bridgewater, NJ - Every time the Somerset Patriots win a game during the 2012 season they will be scoring a victory for all U.S. troops deployed overseas.
Operation Shoebox New Jersey and the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club are partnering for “Victory Campaign 2012,” providing an opportunity for all fans to support the Patriots on the field, and the true American Patriots overseas who wear a uniform of a different color, according to Rod Hirsch, founder and executive director of the non-profit organization, which has sent over 53,000 care packages to US troops overseas since 2005.
“The team's name is synonymous with what has always made this country great,” Hirsch explained, “a sense of pride; strength in body and mind, a fervent respect for that which is right and a willingness to protect and preserve the basic freedoms that we all enjoy.”
By pledging to support “Victory Campaign 2012,” each fan that signs up for the fund raising program will ensure that the supply line of personal items shipped overseas continues uninterrupted, according to Hirsch.
All fans that sign up for the program will receive four free tickets to any Patriots home game Monday-Thursday during the 2012 season and a chance to win a limited edition signed print of Somerset Patriots manager Sparky Lyle in Yankees pinstripes, winner of the 1977 Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in baseball.
Here’s how it works:
Individuals, families, youth league teams, civic organizations, small businesses, companies and larger corporations are all encouraged to pledge one dollar upwards of ten dollars or more for each game the Patriots win during the 2012 season and pay the full amount at the conclusion of the season, minus a $25 fee to register for the program.
The $25 registration fee will entitle the individual or organization to sponsor a personal care package that will be sent overseas to a soldier as their gift.
“Operation Shoebox New Jersey will provide a postcard to each donor to be signed and inserted in the care package to identify the package as your gift,” Hirsch explained.
For example, if the Patriots win 75 games during the 2012 season, and you pledge $1 for each win, you will owe $50 at the conclusion of the season.
Each personal care package shipped overseas contains several dozen personal care items, including toothpaste and toothbrush, moist wipes, lip balm, soap, shampoo, ear swabs, gum, candy, cookies, beef jerky, tuna and other items.
Participants in “Victory Campaign 2012” will be eligible to participate in contests and events at TD Bank Ballpark exclusive to members throughout the season.
“Operation Shoebox New Jersey, along with the Somerset Patriots Baseball Club and thousands of volunteers, salute the men and women in uniform on the front lines who work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure that those of us back home continue to enjoy our freedoms and the American way of life,” Hirsch said.
All donations to Operation Shoebox New Jersey are tax deductible. Pledges will be accepted throughout the season. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Call (908) 698-0333 for further information or visit the website at www.opshoeboxnj.org.
The Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Council packed 378 boxes for US troops overseas at their North Branch service center Sept. 24, with each of the girls signing a banner, at left, that was included in a box sent to Maj. Tim Cheslock In Afghanistan. Holding a hero card included in the box he received, Cheslock and other members of the medical unit are shown with the banner at right. The soldier at the far right is holding a box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, also included in each package shipped overseas by Operation Shoebox New Jersey. See more pictures of the Sept. 24 packing by clicking on the "Photos" link.
Somerset Patriots manager Sparky Lyle, at left, helps congratulate Piscataway resident
Adele Kircher, winner of the Victory Campaign drawing sponsored by Operation Shoebox New
Jersey. Also shown in photo is Rod Hirsch, founder and executive director of OPSHBX NJ, and
Patrick McVerry, president and general manager of the Patriots, far right. Kircher was presented
with a limited edition print of Sparky Lyle based on a 1977 photo of the New York Yankees
Cy Young Award winner painted by James Fiorentino.
Register for an event or volunteer op
Operation Shoebox is always in need of volunteers. Want to help out? Register by clicking the button below or click here to see a full listing of packings and events.