Clark Resident, Kiwanis Club Support U.S. Troops

CLARK—Last month, the Clark Kiwanis Club sent 50 boxes of cookies, DVDs and toiletries to U.S. soldiers serving overseas make sure they knew they were being remembered by people at home.


All Boxed Up—At top right, Dr. Frank Light and Clark Kiwanis Club President James Dougherty, front right, oversee the volunteers who packed 50 boxes for overseas troops. Mrs. Peggy Monagle, second from top left, coordinated the efforts for the volunteer activity in which members of the Clark Kiwanis Club, and ALJ Key Club gathered to pack boxes of toiletries, cookies and soup for soldiers in Iraq. Kennedy School in Plainfield was a big contributor of goods for the drive. (Photo by Susan M. Dougherty)


The idea was the brainchild of Clark resident Dr. Frank Light. He envisioned sending boxes of cookies, DVDs and toiletries to the troops overseas for the holidays. “They do so much for us; we need to let them know they are not forgotten,” he said of the project.

He spoke to his friend Peggy Monagle, past president of the Clark Kiwanis Club, to see if the local philanthropic organization would be on board with donations. After Monagle presented the idea to Clark Kiwanis Club President Jim Dougherty, he pledged the club’s support and asked their youth sponsored club at ALJ High School, the Key Club, to help.

They weren’t the only youngsters who wanted to donate. Kennedy School in South Plainfield, where Monagle is a speech therapist, got involved and brought in toiletries and bags of cookies and hundreds of cups of soup. “Isn’t this amazing?” she asked when she delivered cartloads of items donated by her students and teachers.

On a Tuesday evening during one of the Kiwanis Club’s regularly scheduled meetings, the adults and a few Key Club members and officers gathered in the ALJ High School library to pack 50 cardboard boxes with cups of soup, DVDs, toilet tissue, pens, cookies, crackers and assorted toiletries.

Katrina Anderson Dobbins’ AP English class from ALJ High School addressed the packing slips for each of the boxes which were then ready for the post office. With a $200 donation from the ALJ Key Club and a matching monetary donation from the parent organization for postage, the boxes were sent overseas in early December.

Monagle couldn’t say enough about, Light who supplied the names of contacts in the armed forces in Iraq and helped organize the effort. “We’ll start earlier next year and do twice as many,” she predicted.

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