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Thu, Dec. 12

Hoedown event to help military personnel

The Blue Star Mothers plan a big fundraiser, their First Annual Hoedown, on Sunday, March 11, at Tim's Toyota Center.

"We want to be able to ship care packages every month of the year," said Rebecca Leatherwood, a Blue Star Mother and president of the local chapter. Blue Star Mothers have children or family members serving, or who have served, in the U.S. military.

Leatherwood said one big fundraiser should cover costs to expand the care package program and also help with the ancillary projects the Blue Star Mothers run at the Veterans Affairs in Prescott, which include bingo nights with prizes and lawn picnics during spring and summer months. Traditionally, those seasons have fewer programs and activities than during the winter holidays.

The Hoedown will run from 3-7 p.m. beginning with an opening ceremony with the Young Marines presenting the colors, national anthem and pledge. Children's activities run from 3:15-5:30 p.m. with face painting, sparkle tattoos, and balloon animals.

In addition to food and live entertainment listed below, there is a silent auction with several gift baskets and donations from businesses throughout the county with prizes starting at $40 value. Leatherwood said she is still accepting donations.

Liberty KIA has donated a 2012 Kia Rio. People can purchase tickets only at the event at $100 per ticket, and only 300 tickets are available. The winner must be 18 years old with valid ID, and must be present at the drawing just before 7 p.m.

Entrance to the event is a suggested donation of $5 or an item to ship to troops. Leatherwood said male and female toiletries are needed.

The Lynx Creek Cloggers perform 3:15-4 p.m., and will teach the kids and adults clogging dances. From 4-4:30 p.m. Ruffles and Rawhide will teach line dancing. At 4:30 p.m. the Latigo band will play country western tunes in two 45-minute sets. Montana Barbeque Catering Company will offer for sale pulled pork sandwiches and chips from 4-6 p.m.

During the entire event, a table is set up with paints, markers, and paper for drawing and writing letters to military personnel that will be included in the care packages. Still needed are donations of gallon size sealable plastic bags for packing.

"Tim's donated the Center for our use, the catering company is not charging us for their services, and Liberty KIA's donating the new vehicle," Leatherwood said.

The local chapter formed this past October. They have set up collection boxes for care items at the Yavapai College Prescott Campus, second floor of the administration building, and also at the Safeway store in Prescott Valley and at Tim's Toyota Center. Operation Shoebox has a list of suggested items on its website: www.operationshoebox. For more information please email Rebecca Leatherwood at leatherwoodrg@aol.com.

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