Items collected at a Country Club swing dance party, and letters written by Cosumnes River Elementary kindergartners, are gathered and ready to be sent to the troops. From left are Don Thames, the club's golf pro; Jenny Williams, president of the CRES PTA; Carole Thames, the drive organizer (and Don's wife), and Ron Svien, the club's general manager.
Here's Carole Thames' explanation about how these packages from home came to pass:
Don introduced a four-week swing dance class last year and then this year we did it again.... had a beginner and intermediate class. At the end of the four weeks we have a swing dance. It is quite fun. The instructor, Johnny Ochoa, and his girlfriend come out and are dressed in period pieces and really cut a rug.
I was hoping the club would open it to the community and asked the GM, Ron Svien, if we could include a donation drive for the troops. This time of year the veteran charities don't see as much action. Donations run high at Christmas, Veterans Day and Memorial Day. When I researched Move America Forward, their website included pics of the canine soldiers and asked for items to be donated to them as well.
I then remembered that the PTA was scheduled to have an event at the club on the April 6 – "Let's Support Our Stars....Our Students" – so I thought, well let's bridge this with the kids adopting the canine soldiers. I was on a tight time schedule and by the time I got together with Jenny Williams (PTA president) it was a little too late to do a "Dimes for Dogs" kind of campaign. I may have been able to work on a better name as well.
I had thought wouldn't it be a great idea to actually have a canine soldier come to the school, etc. Then the kids could bring in spare change throughout the week and we would convert that change to the dog toys. Jenny has talked to someone at the school and we are going to shoot for that next year! In light of our time crunch the kindergarteners drew pictures and wrote notes.
Move America Forward is a local charity supporting our service men and women (and dogs) with care packages and notes from home. I reached out to Scott Rabb and he said they would greatly appreciate the donations.
I am hoping we can make this an annual event with the Spring Swing Dance.
That pretty much sums it up. I have always thought Rancho Murieta does a great job honoring our veterans and active military. I love seeing the banners line the parkway for a few months of the year. The club also does a "Folds of Honor" fundraiser in August. This is done through the pro shop. This charity supports fallen or disabled soldiers' families with scholarships
If anyone in the community has someone serving overseas, they can request a care package be sent to them.