‘Singing for Soldiers’ set for Memorial Day at Veterans Park

Published 12:52 pm Friday, May 22, 2009

The Singing for the Soldiers events feature national and local gospel groups on stage at&bsp; concerts where admisson for the event is a bag of items such as granola bars, white socks, gum, candy, CDs, DVDs, knit hats, batteries, lip balm or other similar supplies for troops in Iraq.

The event organizers work with a group of chaplains in Iraq based in the hottest combat areas in which it is too dangerous for soldiers to go out to shop for these needed items.

In the last four Singing for the Soldiers events in Polk County, organizers have collected 4,000 pounds of items sent to men and women overseas, as well as 1,000 full sized bibles and nearly 500 gospel CDs, and 200 personalized Singing for the Soldiers coffee mugs, thanks to donations of those attending.

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&dquo;We do this because we love and appreciate our most valuable citizens the men and women of our armed forces,&dquo; says James Metcalf, co-chair of the event. &dquo;And (we) have found that during the organization of this grass roots effort (with no government help or grants for a change) that our local civilian population feels the same about our troops.&dquo;

Beginning at 5 p.m. Memorial Day, event organizers will be selling hot dogs, roasted corn, fries and onion rings to raise money for buying items and shipping costs. All of the food, music and other event expenses are funded by local businesses and individuals so every dime collected will be used to support soldiers.

Everyone attending is asked to bring items as mentioned above or a monetary donation to help send these needed items from home to &dquo;our heroes in the sand.&dquo;