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November 16, 2011 - Some troops will have sweet taste of home this holiday season thanks to the fforts of local families.

Both candy and a Thanksgiving dinner were included in care packages for troops from Belle Ann Elementary

At Belle Ann Elementary on Nov. 9, 170 packages were prepared to be sent out to overseas troops. Packages that were to be filled with books, magazines, snacks, and notes from students at Belle Ann spanned six cafeteria tables. Also included in the packages were Halloween candy and items for a Thanksgiving dinner including cans of turkey, corn and cranberry sauce.

"We had a great turnout," said Andrea Swoyer, a first grade teacher at Belle Ann. "We had a lot of people from the community and from the school as well as parents."

The event, which received a $1500 grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans to ship the boxes, was also held last year. "A lot of the classes received notes back from the soldiers," said Swoyer. One soldier that Swoyer's first grade class had kept in touch with through e-mail after the previous event even visited her class earlier this year.

The goal was to pack 120 boxes, and 170 total were packed. The packages are to reach the troops around Thanksgiving

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