LAKEPORT – The volunteers of Operation Tango Mike, a local effort saying “thanks much” to our troops, achieved a milestone on Nov. 27. The goal had been set to assemble and ship 100 Christmas care packages for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. That lofty goal was met, with the help of many.
A group of nearly 40 gathered at Umpqua Bank on Tuesday, packing boxes with talking bears, which read letters of support to the troops. Boxes also contained big red Christmas stockings loaded with candy and treats, donated by the Sacramento chapter of Rebels with a Cause; an organization usually assisting families of deployed troops.
They decided to also assist Operation Tango Mike after meeting Ginny Craven at the Operation Homefront Gala in May and learning of the group’s efforts on behalf of deployed troops. The care packages were also filled with Girl Scout goodies donated by Brownies from Troop 10304, items donated by Girl Scouts from Troop 588, treats donated by Lake County citizens and loads of correspondence and Christmas cards.
Other donations included the Brownies giving their proceeds from recent nut and candy sales, the Lakeport Lions hosting a donation can at their booth at the Dickens Faire and the employees of the Lucerne Foster’s Freeze contributing their tips.
The packages were shipped on Nov. 28 and are making their way to the troops in time for Christmas. While at the post office, Operation Tango Mike volunteers have been fortunate to have other citizens offer assistance. Passers by, seeing the parcels, have helped to unload, carry and stack the boxes. Thus proving there are many ways to contribute.
The recent fundraiser, Tips for Troops, at Riviera Hills Restaurant and Lounge was very successful. That money has been well-spent, with the Christmas care packages costing $895 in shipping costs, excluding supplies and contents.
Also on Nov. 28, President Ilene Dumont of the Rotary Club of Lakeport presented a check in the amount of $1,530 to Craven for Operation Tango Mike. After a Nov. 14 presentation about Operation Tango Mike by Craven, individual Rotarians contributed $765, which was then matched by the Rotary’s Community Fund.
Donations of goods and funds are always welcome and needed. Operation Tango Mike packs and ships care packages monthly. Expenses are ongoing and all assistance is helpful in ensuring the effort is sustained.
Those interested in participating in Operation Tango Mike can contact Ginny Craven at 707-349-2838 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Donations may be made payable to Operation Tango Mike and sent to 5216 Piner Court, Kelseyville, CA 95451.