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Sat, Sept. 26

ESA wraps up military boxes

The War on Terrorism has placed many American troops overseas during the holidays.

To give soldiers a little bit of home over Christmas, Epsilon Sigma Alpha’s Beta Epsilon (ESA) chapter members fill boxes with homemade cookies, fudge and candies.

Then the boxes are sent to servicemen and women who are stationed away from home.

“We did 26 boxes and about half are going overseas,” said Dorothy Miller, president of the sorority and 31-year ESA member. “We’re sending boxes to places like Alaska and North Carolina — just all over the states.”

The local ESA chapter has been serving Williams for 52 years. They, along with chapters across the nation, first started sending boxes to the military personnel at Christmas time during the Korean conflict. The local chapter got together Dec. 4 at St. Joseph Church to package the items.

The boxes are filled with goodies from all over northern Arizona and are sent off to all branches of the armed forces. Since the beginning, more than 1,200 boxes have been sent out.

“We had cookies, popcorn balls, gum, nuts, playing cards, hat pins, I love Williams pins, post cars, Route 66 Magazines, paperback books, crossword puzzles and a poster — there was just a little bit of everything,” Miller said.

Many organizations, businesses, churches and residents in Williams contributed to the boxes. In the top of each box, the last thing placed inside is a piece of pinyon pine with a bow tied to it so the recipient gets a breath of home when the boxes are opened.

Throughout the years, ESA has received a lot of positive feedback.

“Even today, men and women who receive boxes 20 or more years ago will contact us so they too can now contribute to current military personnel,” said Connie Freson, 6-year ESA member

Miller and Freson are sisters in the sorority with Patti Lugo, Valerie Myers and Carol DeLander, whose son is stationed in North Carolina.

In addition to the holiday boxes, ESA also gives back to the community in other ways.

“Each year we adopt a Thanksgiving and Christmas family,” said Miller. “This year, instead of a family we’re doing senior citizens.”

The sorority also sells See’s candy to raise money for a national cause.

“We sell Easter candy and the money from that goes to the Easter Seals,” Miller said.

ESA meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Anyone interested in joining is invited to call Miller, at the National Bank of Arizona, 635-4419, to find out the location of the next meeting.

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