Trees for Troops
MICHAEL A. HEERY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Showing their support of this year's Trees for Troops program are, left to right, LASD Elementary Principal Aaron Sebelin; Shull-David Elementary School students Logan Wentz, Alexander Thomas, and Madison Kemmerer; Mahoning Elementary School students Emma Schappell, Mazzy Mickey, and Bradley Yenser; co-owner of Yenser's Tree Farm Drew Yenser; and Retired United States Air Force Major General Marvin Jay Barry.
Trees for Troops - a program "designed to enhance the Christmas Spirit" of those serving in the military and their families - recently received a boost from local individuals, families, schools, and businesses.
State Rep. Doyle Heffley said, "This is a great community effort." "This means a lot to these families," added Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein.
Since the inception of the Trees for Troops program in 2005, Christmas tree growers from across the U.S. have generously supported military families by providing 84,000 fresh-cut Christmas trees. For the past several years, FedEx has helped to deliver these trees to over 60 military bases throughout the U.S. and overseas.
Last year, 300 Christmas trees were donated through Yenser's Tree Farm in Mahoning Valley . The goal this year is 400.
According to Retired United States Air Force Major General Marvin Jay Barry, "An event like this at a 'grass roots' level is an indication of how our country feels about our troops. I truly thank you for your support of this program."
In addition to the individuals and families who contributed to this year's program, Drew Yenser, co-owner of Yenser's Tree Farm, recognized the following for their generous support: KME Kovatch Organization; L.B. Morris Elementary School; Lansford Legion; Lehighton Area Middle School; Lehighton Ford; Lehighton United Veterans Organization; Mahoning Elementary School; Pencor Services, Inc.; Shull-David Elementary School; Sue Salerno 31 Gifts Director; WLSH and WMGH Radio Stations; William G. Schwab and Associates - Attorneys at Law; and Zion United Church of Christ in Lehighton.
"We truly thank you for your support of this program," said Yenser.
According to Lehighton Area School District Elementary Principal Aaron Sebelin, "It's important for our students to understand the significance of providing a Christmas gift (tree) for military families at this time of year." He added, "We want to remember and thank those who will be serving around the globe, away from their families during the holiday season. This is just one way to show our appreciation."
Second Grade Teacher Jan Wentz coordinated the program for Mahoning Elementary School and Shull-David Elementary School .