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‘Holidays for Heroes’ drive collecting donations for the deployed

By Staff | Oct 29, 2011

“Sip and Send” is yet again embarking on their own mission to aid the troops serving overseas by providing them with some of the creature comforts of home.

For the fifth year, Sip and Send owners Peter and Jonette Kessack are organizing the “Holiday for Heroes” drive, an effort to collect a number of goods to be boxed and shipped to Afghanistan.

This year’s boxes are being sent to F-Company AVN BDE, a 400-member Army Medivac unit which was deployed for its fourth tour of duty in October.

E4 Specialist James Watkins, a Cape resident, is serving in the unit, according to Jonette Kessack.

James works at Sanibel Harbour when on leave and his wife, Libby, works at the Target store on Santa Barbara.

“We select a local serviceman and ask them if there’s a need in their unit,” Kessack added.

The Kessacks are trying to collect enough items to be able to send a box to each individual serving in the unit. Last year they collected and sent 306 boxes. The first year they sent 36.

They’re looking for a myriad of items, from T-shirts and socks, to snacks and toiletries, all to say thank you and give the soldiers a small taste of the home.

“We’re looking for the stuff that the military doesn’t supply,” Jonette said.

People looking to donate have a couple of options.

They can stop by Sip and Send on Santa Barbara, which is in the same plaza as the Verizon Wireless store and Kumo Japanese steakhouse, grab a box and fill it up. Or they can donate individual items at the store.

Folks also can stop by city hall, where the city clerks office is coordinating collection efforts. Bins will be located outside the city clerk’s office for your convenience.

Sip and Send also will host a Holiday for Heroes fundraiser on Sunday, Nov 6, to raise funds to shop the boxes.

The Holiday for Heroes Bash will feature live music, raffles, free food and an original piece of art work created on site, during the event, by famed artist Leoma Lovegrove. Lovegrove’s painting will be auctioned off, as will a three-day, two-night stay at Sanibel Harbour.

The last day to make donations is Nov. 20.

For more information contact Sip and Send at 772-1076.